90-Year-Old Man Who Was Nearly 1st Black Astronaut Finally Headed To Space

Photo: eddwight.com

A 90-year-old man who was set to become the first Black astronaut in space decades ago is finally headed to space, CBS News reports.

Ed Dwight was selected by former President John F. Kennedy in 1961 to enter the Path to NASA's Astronaut Corps, an Air Force training program.

Finishing the program in 1963, Dwight was set up to make history as the first Black astronaut.

"I thought these dudes were crazy," Dwight previously said of the opportunity.

The Air Force recommended Dwight join NASA's Astronaut Corps, but he ultimately wasn't selected and entered private life in 1966.

Dwight recalled feeling discriminated against by his peers.

"So, all these White folks that I'm dealing with, I mean, my peers, the other guys that were astronaut candidates and the leadership was just horrified at the idea of my coming down to Edwards and the president appointing me to the position," Dwight said.

Now, more than 60 years later, Dwight was selected to travel to space on an upcoming flight by Blue Origin, a space exploration company founded by Jeff Bezos, in June.

Blue Origin has successfully sent 22 commercial flights into the atmosphere. Previous passengers include Bezos himself, Michael Strahan, and William Shatner, who became the oldest person in space at 90.

Dwight will tie Shatner's record. The 90-year-old's seat on the flight was sponsored by Space for Humanity, a nonprofit organization that helps send citizens to space.

Dwight will also be among five other civilians headed to space on the June flight including venture capitalist Mason Angel, French brewery founder Sylvain Chiron, software engineer Kenneth L. Hess, retired CPA Carol Schaller, and pilot and aviator Gopi Thotakura.

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