The late astronaut Ronald McNair. Via science.ksc.nasa.gov
Mae Jemison, the first black woman in space, was inspired by Nichelle Nichols’ portrayal of Lieutenant Uhura onStar Trek. But she wasn’t the only one boldly going to the final frontier. StoryCorps tells the story of Ronald McNair, the second African American in space and a casualty of the Challenger disaster in 1986. The short (captioned) video illuminates McNair’s inquisitive beginnings in the segregated American South, his teen years, and the realization of his dream.
NASA is closing out its 30-year space shuttle program to take aim at asteroids and Mars, destinations favored by the White House. Private companies will take over the job of hauling cargo and crews to the International Space Station, freeing NASA up to focus on points beyond.
“We believe that on behalf of the American people, it is time for NASA to do the hard things to go beyond low-Earth orbit,” NASA’s deputy administrator, Lori Garver, told reporters gathering for the launch.
Here’s Mae Jemison talking about going into space:
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