Bernard A. Harris Jr. (Actual)

29 Arrow Pointing Right


Missions and Ranks

Mission Specialist 3

STS-55: Columbia
Captain Steven R. Nagel

Missions and Ranks

Mission Specialist 1

STS-63: Discovery
Captain James D. Wetherbee


National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

STS-55 Destination:
88 multinational experiemnts in orbit

STS-63 Destination:
Conduct first U.S. flyaround of space station Mir

Bernard Anthony Harris Jr. is a scientist, surgeon, astronaut, entrepreneur, and leader. He is best known for having been the first African American to walk in space, and developing the non-profit known as the Harris Foundation.

Harris’s historic rise at the National Space Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) began at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California, with a National Research Council Fellowship in 1987. He trained as a flight surgeon at the Aerospace School of Medicine, Brooks Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas before NASA hired him to work at the Johnson Space Center in 1987.

He was accepted into the NASA Astronaut training program in 1990.

Harris was Mission Specialist for STS-55, Spacelab D-2 in August 1991. Two years later he flew on the Space Shuttle Columbia for 10 days. As Payload Commander for the first joint Russian-American Space Program mission, in 1995, Dr. Harris became the first African American to walk in space. He has logged more than 438 hours and traveled over 7.2 million miles in space.

After leaving NASA in 1996, Harris led various companies with scientific and educational missions. In 1998 he founded the Harris Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports math and science education as well as crime prevention for America’s youth.