It was Guion Buford Jr., a much-decorated Vietnam vet jet pilot who rode the Space Shuttle out of earth’s atmosphere on 30 August 1983.

However, according to Vivian Sammons’ Blacks in Science and Medicine (Philadelphia: Taylor & Francis 1990), he only made it because the the first black selected for astronaut training, Robert Henry Lawrence, Jr., was killed on a training flight on December 8, 1967.

But I still think it's a great honor.

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