Bluford, Guion Stewart, Jr.

Bluford, Guion Stewart, Jr. (1942-), a United States astronaut. Bluford became the first black American in space while serving as a crew member on the shuttle Challenger during its flight in August, 1983.

Bluford was born in Philadelphia. In 1964 he graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering. Following his graduation, he joined the Air Force and became a pilot. While serving in Vietnam, 196667, he flew 144 combat missions. He received a master's degree from the U.S. Air Force Institute of Technology in 1974 and a doctorate from that institution in 1978. That same year he was admitted to NASA's astronaut-training program.