A Celebration of African Americans at NASA
The National Museum of African American History and Culture welcomes you to learn about African American STEM contributions at NASA. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) became an official government agency in 1958, born from its predecessor, the National Advisory Council for Aeronautics (NACA).
In 1961, NASA selected its first African American astronaut candidate by the name of Edward Dwight Jr. Although he never flew in space, his selection as an astronaut candidate was a public display to integrate the space agency. Until then, NASA only had white male astronauts flying even though African American scientists, mathematicians, and engineers had been working for the agency for more than a decade.
Finally in 1981, Guion Bluford became the first African American to fly in space. Since then African Americans have continued to fill positions at NASA and make their contributions in space, from behind a desk, and in the laboratory.
This Learning Lab celebrates these individuals, their bravery, their exploratory spirit, and their desires to express themselves fully through their commitment to space exploration.
This is a celebration of them all.
Keywords: NASA, NMAAHC, NASM, Astronaut, African American, Scientist, Engineer, Mathematician, Technology, Space, Space Travel