April 8, 2024

The First Black Astronaut Candidate Will Finally Go On A Space Mission At 90 Years Old

Ed Dwight

Ed Dwight, the first Black astronaut candidate President John F. Kennedy selected in 1961, is finally set to journey to space at age 90.

Meet Ed Dwight

Born in 1933 in Kansas City, Kansas, Dwight’s early career began with his service as a fighter pilot in the U.S. Air Force. 

His selection for the elite Aerospace Research Pilot School (ARPS) in 1961 allowed him to break racial barriers in space exploration. 

Despite completing the program, Dwight was not selected for NASA’s Astronaut Corps. 

However, this did not deter him as he transitioned to a career in sculpture, using his art to honor and preserve Black history

His works, which include tributes to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Frederick Douglass, and Harriet Tubman, are displayed in public spaces and museums across the U.S. and Canada.

Blue Origin’s NS-25 Mission

Blue Origin announced Dwight as part of its six-person crew for the NS-25 mission, marking a significant milestone in his life journey.

Now, he will become the oldest person to achieve this feat, surpassing even the record set by Wally Funk during her Blue Origin flight.

Dwight’s seat on the New Shepard mission NS-25, a suborbital space tourism flight, is sponsored by Space for Humanity and supported by the Jaison and Jamie Robinson Foundation. 

NS-25 marks Blue Origin’s seventh human flight and the 25th in the New Shepard program’s history, a real achievement for the Jeff Bezos-founded company. 

This mission is particularly noteworthy as it is the first human spaceflight since the company’s emergency abort during an uncrewed mission in September 2022. 

Sara Keenan

Tech Reporter at POCIT. Following her master's degree in journalism, Sara cultivated a deep passion for writing and driving positive change for Black and Brown individuals across all areas of life. This passion expanded to include the experiences of Black and Brown people in tech thanks to her internship experience as an editorial assistant at a tech startup.