Physicist Ronald E. McNair became the second African American to enter space. He was selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in January 1978. After he completed his training, in August 1979, McNair received his first assignment as a mission specialist astronaut on Space Shuttle flight crews.
On January 28, 1986, the NASA Challenger mission vended in tragedy when the shuttle exploded 73 seconds after takeoff.
Below watch Eyes on the Stars, a beautiful animation and story from Ronald McNair’s childhood from StoryCorps.