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Guy Bluford

First African American to Fly into Space

Dr. Guy Bluford spent 15 years with NASA as one of its elite astronauts. Selected to be a part of the first class of Space Shuttle astronauts in 1978, Bluford became the first African-American to fly in space in 1983. He also flew on a Spacelab flight in 1985 and Department of Defense missions in…

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Dr. Guy Bluford spent 15 years with NASA as one of its elite astronauts. Selected to be a part of the first class of Space Shuttle astronauts in 1978, Bluford became the first African-American to fly in space in 1983. He also flew on a Spacelab flight in 1985 and Department of Defense missions in 1991 and 1992. Upon his retirement from NASA in 1993, he logged over 688 hours in space and was inducted into the International Space Hall of Fame in 1997.

Today, Bluford is actively involved in a very successful business career. He serves as President of The Aerospace Technology Group (ATG), an aerospace technology and business consulting organization specializing in aviation and space related technology development, analysis, and marketing related activities. Prior to joining ATG, Bluford served as Vice President of Microgravity Research & Development and Operations for Northrop Grumman Corporation, a global aerospace, defense, and information technology company. He also served as Program Manager of the NASA Glenn Research Center, Microgravity Research, Development and Operations Contract, where he was responsible for the design, development, integration and operational support of the NASA Fluids and Combustion Facility and space flight experiment hardware for the International Space Station.

Dr. Bluford has also held senior management positions with both Federal Data Corporation and NYMA, Inc. A former fighter pilot in Vietnam, he served 29 years in the United States Air Force as a tactical fighter pilot, instructor pilot, staff development engineer and Branch Chief of the Aerodynamics and Airframe Branch of the Air Force Flight Dynamics Laboratory. He has over 5,200 hours of jet flight time in 10 different aircraft.

A native of Philadelphia, Dr. Bluford holds bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees in aerospace engineering, as well as a master of business administration. In addition, he has earned 13 honorary doctorate degrees from universities in nine states throughout the country. He conducts a very active civic life, serving on the Board of Directors of the U.S. Space Foundation, the NASA Alumni League, the Western Reserve Historical Society of Cleveland, the Great Lakes Science Center and the National Inventors Hall of Fame Foundation. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the Aerospace Corporation.

Bluford was born in 1942. He is married and resides with his wife in Ohio. They have two grown children.

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Guy Bluford: Reaching for the Stars - Conversations from Penn State

Fred has a conversation with American pioneer and NASA Astronaut Guion Bluford

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