Guion “Guy” S. Bluford, Jr. (Actual)

3 Arrow Pointing Right


Missions and Ranks

USAF Colonel and NASA Mission Specialist 1

STS-8: Challenger
Captain Richard H. Truly
August 30, 1983

Missions and Ranks

Mission Specialist 3

STS-61-A: Challenger
Captain Henry W. Hartsfield
October 30, 1985

Missions and Ranks

Mission Specialist 3

STS-39: Discovery
Captain Michael L. Coats
April 28, 1991

Missions and Ranks

Mission Specialist 1

STS-53: Discovery
Captain David M. Walker
December 9, 1992


National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

STS-8 Destination:
Deploy INSAT-1B in orbit

STS-61-A Destination:
Conduct orbit microgravity experiments in Spacelab D-1

STS-39 Destination:
Conduct DoD payload experiments in orbit

STS-53 Destination:
Deploy SDS-2 in orbit for DoD

Guy Bluford was the first African American launched into space.

Bluford was one of 35 individuals selected in 1978 from 10,000 applicants in NASA’s first competition to become space shuttle astronauts. On August 30, 1983, he rode into Earth orbit on the shuttle orbiter Challenger; he subsequently flew on three additional shuttle missions between 1985 and 1992.

Bluford served as a mission specialist on all four flights, with responsibility for a variety of in-orbit tasks, including the deployment of an Indian communications satellite as well as the operation and deployment of scientific and classified military experiments and payloads.

– Encyclopedia Britannica