Guion S. Bluford, Jr., Ph.D.

Aerospace Engineer, US Air Force Officer, Fighter pilot, NASA Astronaut

First African-American in space

Guion S Bluford, Jr., was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Bluford graduated from Overbrook High School in 1960, and received his Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering at Pennsylvannia State University in 1964. He went on to receive his Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy in Aerospace Engineering from the U.S. Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) in 1974 and 1978 respectively. In addition to that, he received a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Houston-CLear Lake in 1987.

Bluford joined the Air Force and attended pilot training at Williams Air Force Base where he received his pilot wings in January of 1966. He then began F-4C combat crew training and was assigned to the 557th Tatical Fighter Squadron in Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam. He ended up flying 144 combat missions, 65 of which were over North Vietnam. He has logged over 5,200 hours of jet flight time in the T-33, T-37, T-38, F-4C, U-2/TR-1, and F-5A/B aircraft including 1,300 hours at a T-38 instructor pilot. He also has an FAA commercial pilot license.

In August 1979 he was chosen to become a NASA astronaut out of thousands of possible candidates. He served on missions in 1983, 1985, 1991, and 1992. All in all, he logged 688 hours in space.

He left NASA and retired from the Air Force in 1993. During his post-NASA career, he served as Vice-President of the Engineering Services Division of NYMA, the Aerospace Sector of Federal Data Corporation, the Microgravity R&D and Operations for Northrop Grumman and President of Aerospace Technology, an engineering consulting organization.

In 1997, Guion Bluford was inducted into the International Space Hall of Fame, and in 2010 he was inducted into the United States Astronaut Hall of Fame.

For all of your many years of service Guion S. Bluford, Jr., Ph.D, we thank and salute you!


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