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Ed Dwight, America’s first Black astronaut candidate, finally goes to space

Written by on May 21, 2024

Ed Dwight, America’s first Black astronaut candidate, finally journeyed to space at the age of 90, flying with Jeff Bezos’ rocket company, Blue Origin. Dwight, an Air Force pilot championed by President John F. Kennedy as a NASA astronaut candidate, wasn’t selected for the 1963 class. On Sunday, Dwight experienced a few minutes of weightlessness alongside five other passengers aboard a Blue Origin capsule, calling it “a life-changing experience.”

The brief flight from West Texas made Dwight the oldest person in space, surpassing William Shatner’s 2021 record. This marked Blue Origin’s first crewed launch in nearly two years after a 2022 accident. Dwight’s seat was partially sponsored by Space for Humanity, a nonprofit organization.

Following his military service, Dwight pursued a career in sculpture, focusing on Black history. His work includes memorials and monuments across the United States, with several sculptures having flown into space. Dwight’s long-awaited spaceflight highlights his enduring legacy and contributions to both space exploration and the arts.

Source: AP News

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