Rocketing to history
'Guy' Bluford was first African American in space
- Duration 6:16
- Date Feb 15, 2013
'Guy' Bluford was first African American in space
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Every Friday and February were teaming up with females -- practice program to celebrate Black History Month and once again.
While support weekends owner Harris Faulkner joins us to tell us about one man.
Who's truly got the right stuff they aren't this is so much -- to do good to see you -- and yeah.
Colonel -- blue for the first African American in space but more than that he's a man who dreamed big believed anything was possible.
And went beyond anyone's expectations.
And what kind of perspective do you get.
We just looked down at earth.
For all the way up that well I think this thing because when you look down at the -- you can't tell one country from another.
And you realize that all of us have to live on this one planet.
And we'll have to get -- what's it like to be insiders -- being watched -- -- being in space with so much for.
The view out the window was great.
I love zero the and the American people all -- about the fact that they pay you to do this I hear you sing zero my.
-- really Smart.
-- Guy in Stewart -- first it was born and raised in Philadelphia and the oldest of three Brothers both of his parents were college educated in this -- a mechanical engineer and his mother a public school -- so.
-- I grew opened an environment where.
Hey you are going to college you know you don't have a choice in this match.
Growing up in the forties and fifties did you ever feel.
Like the cards are stacked against him because the color of your -- Know my parents and a very good job we never felt as if we were limited in any way whatsoever.
But -- Classroom with anything but natural -- easy for guy in high school.
An average student he excelled in math and science but a lot of the long and everything else you had a guidance counselor who had some doubts about how you.
-- -- at the next level.
What did she tell you all.
I was committed at that time I wanted to be an aerospace engineer so when you're seeing -- you you go by and talk to the college counselor.
Who should help you -- you know college applications militants.
And unfortunately this -- -- thought that I may not be strong enough to get college and recommended that I do something else.
I can order.
I think my mother was more upset about it that I was tonight just didn't let that.
You had a plan how you you envision yourself as an engineer unit which Atlanta -- Richard.
Does that make a difference having a plan yes it really did -- -- -- and by tens wave what I really wanted to do.
Part of that plan.
140 missions but it throughout about it.
I'm doing it by myself.
Okay yeah I don't know I don't need it.
And navigator -- -- pilot like to be able to climb in the cockpit clothes they can't be able.
Was it important to serve your country yes why yes.
Because them and American.
Uh oh an awful lot to this country and and I thought that.
One way of doing it is -- serving my country.
If you -- flying fighter jets was exhilarating he was about to take off and hold different year.
You hear NASA is looking for their next batch of astronauts specifically for African Americans.
What did you think your chances work.
I didn't think my -- the very.
With nearly 101000 applicants competing for just 35 slots his chances were slim.
The guy was one of three African American astronauts made it through -- what kind of personality makes it into space.
Well you have to be a person that sex can get along with a lot of different people but also have to be a team -- -- you -- I was excited about -- so I think we will welcome trade existing enough when you rocket in the space.
It it's almost like riding this I mean it's and so the simulations is so good on the ground that it it almost sounds like you've been there before.
-- now you find out that your mission has been moved down and you're actually going to be the first African American.
Space -- goes through him.
Well I was just excited about four.
But I also recognize the importance of the role -- sort of way and my goal is to do the best job tonight.
For his second flight.
His mission was scheduled to go up in January of 1986.
The same slot is the challenger disaster.
51 help people -- having problems with their payloads and they -- that's.
So we ended up having a very safe -- but it was really very eerie to realize that the admission after us -- challenger.
With the one that we lost the crew.
-- -- Ron McNair at this point just astronauts.
On -- these are people you knew -- of people in my class.
It's a tough question.
That's wanna I wanna -- You feel guilty that you weren't on the fly.
You know that really.
I felt very fortunate that I was not on the fly.
One of the things that I did was I made a commitment to make sure that we flew safely again when people watch this story.
What do you want them.
To take away from that I did it very tips.
-- chase my dream and so chase those dreams that you really think get too excited.
And you end -- -- well I've driven you can imagine.
Now what you're just watching right there you're seeing the kernel with some young science and math students they were actually invited -- spend the afternoon with him and soak up some of his experience and inspiration.
It's a program that they do there.
And we want to give special thanks to where we -- that's the Great Lakes science museum in Cleveland Ohio which sits beautifully on the frozen now frozen most of it.
Lake -- or some of -- at least.
-- for providing such a beautiful backdrop for our story.