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Celebrating Black History Month
In recognition of Black History Month, the Town of Pembroke Park will be honoring a different influential African-American each day.
Today’s honoree is:
GUION S. BLUFORD
(Astronaut, Scientist, and Pilot)
Mr. Guion S. Bluford was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on November 22, 1942. He enrolled in Pennsylvania State University as a member of the U.S. Air Force R.O.T.C. Program and graduated in 1964 with a degree in aerospace engineering. In 1964, he also married wife, Linda, and had two children over the years, Guion III and James. He was trained as a pilot at Williams Air Force Base in Arizona and flew 144 combat missions during the Vietnam War. After the war, he received both a Master’s Degree and PhD in Aerospace Engineering at the Air Force Institute of Technology.
Guion held the positions of a Staff Development Engineer and Branch Chief in the Air Force Flight Dynamics Laborator at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio. Out of the 100 or so applicants that applied to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Space Program, Guion was one of 35 chosen to join the new space shuttle team in January 1978. He officially became a NASA Astronaut in August 1979 and made history on August 30, 1983, when he became the FIRST African-American to experience space travel. He was a Specialist for Mission STS-8 aboard the space shuttle “Challenger” which launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida and touched down at Edwards Air Force Base in California on September 5, 1983. Two years later, among the largest NASA crew to date, he made his second trip to space aboard the “Challenger” on October 30, 1985.
On December 2, 1992, Guion made one final trip to space aboard the “Discovery” space shuttle, which returned safely on December 9, 1992. He retired from both NASA and the Air Force in 1993 after compiling a total of 688 hours in space. Guion later joined NYMA Inc. as the Vice President / General Manager of the Engineering Services Division and has served in leadership roles for the Federal Data Corporation, the Northrop Grumman Corporation, and the Aerospace Technologies Group. He was inducted into the International Space Hall of Fame in 1997, and the United States Astronaut Hall of Fame in 2010. (Cited: www.biography.com)
We salute Mr. Guion S. Bluford, for his remarkable accomplishments.