Ed Dwight: Almost First Black Astronaut. At 90, He’s Finally Getting His Due
Written by Site Hub on February 11, 2024
At 90 years old, Ed Dwight, who was once on the path to becoming the first Black astronaut, is receiving recognition for his pioneering contributions. Growing up in segregated Kansas, Dwight’s fascination with flying led him to pursue an aviation career despite the racial barriers of the time. Selected by President John F. Kennedy’s administration for astronaut training, Dwight faced significant discrimination during his time at the prestigious test pilot program at Edwards Air Force Base. Despite the support from the White House, Kennedy’s assassination marked the end of Dwight’s astronaut aspirations as he was never chosen for NASA’s space program and subsequently left the Air Force. However, his story and struggles have gained attention through the National Geographic documentary “The Space Race,” which highlights the experiences of Black astronauts and Dwight’s pivotal role. Though it took until 1983 for the first African American, Guion Bluford, to travel to space, Dwight’s early efforts laid the groundwork for future Black astronauts, making his story an essential part of space race history and the ongoing fight for racial equality.
Source: Associated Press