Guion BlufordStatus: Retired 11/22/1942 – Nationality: American Type: Government First Flight: 8/30/1983 Last Flight: 12/2/1992Guion Stewart Bluford Jr., Ph.D. is an American aerospace engineer, retired U.S. Air Force officer and fighter pilot, and former NASA astronaut, who was the first African American in space. Before becoming an astronaut, he was an officer in the U.S. Air Force, where he remained while assigned to NASA, rising to the rank of Colonel. He participated in four Space Shuttle flights between 1983 and 1992. In 1983, as a member of the crew of the Orbiter Challenger on the mission STS-8, he became the first African American in space as well as the second person of African ancestry in space, after Cuban cosmonaut Arnaldo Tamayo Méndez.LaunchesSpace Shuttle Challenger / OV-099 | STS-8Space Shuttle Challenger / OV-099 | STS-61-ASpace Shuttle Discovery / OV-103 | STS-39Space Shuttle Discovery / OV-103 | STS-53National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationType: Government Abbreviation: NASA Administration: Administrator: Jim Bridenstine Founded: 1958 Launchers: Space Shuttle | SLS Spacecraft: Orion Country: USAThe National Aeronautics and Space Administration is an independent agency of the executive branch of the United States federal government responsible for the civilian space program, as well as aeronautics and aerospace research. NASA have many launch facilities but most are inactive. The most commonly used pad will be LC-39B at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.