On a blustery, rainy day in February — not unlike the day in 1983 when the first African-American astronaut stepped onto the Challenger shuttle — Dr. Guion “Guy” Bluford held a Q&A session at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville.
Bluford, a retired U.S. Air Force veteran, met with a small press group before taking college students’ questions at the university’s Meridian ballroom on Monday, February 19. As one of only a handful of people of color in the room, I asked a range of questions about his space career and current events in the field.
As a NASA geek, I cannot express the honor of having a captive audience with the first person of my ethnicity to do something so astounding. To this day, at the age of 75, he is still supporting, meeting with, and encouraging more people of color and women to explore space and follow their dreams.