Ed Dwight, US’s first black astronaut candidate, will board Blue Origin flight | Space

Ed Dwight Comp 1.jpg

Ed Dwight, America’s first black astronaut candidate, will finally fly into space at age 90.

The Air Force veteran will be among the six-person crew aboard Blue Origin’s upcoming New Shepard flight beyond Earth’s atmosphere, Jeff Bezos’s space venture company announced Thursday.

“[Dwight] was selected by President John F. Kennedy in 1961 as the nation’s first Black astronaut candidate but was never granted the opportunity to fly to space,” Blue Origin said in a statement.

Ed Dwight, an Air Force veteran, will get to finally board Blue Origin’s upcoming New Shepard flight. Getty Images.

Dwight, born in Kansas in 1933, was asked by the 35th president to join Chuck Yeager’s test pilot program at Edwards Air Force Base in California’s Mojave Desert in 1961.

At the time, he boasted 1,500 hours of flying jet airplanes, a bachelor’s degree in science or engineering and three consecutive “outstanding” ratings from military superiors.

Even though he was championed by Kennedy through his arduous training, he was not selected to join the Astronaut Corps.

Dwight recalled Yeager privately telling him “how good the white guys were and how I shouldn’t be there.”

It wouldn’t be until 1983 that the first African American, Guion Bluford, reached space.

Dwight spent a decade as an entrepreneur before dedicating his life’s work to using sculpture as a medium to tell the story of black history.

Dwight — whose father played in the Negro Leagues for the Kansas City Monarchs — has made more than 130 large-scale monuments of iconic black figures, including Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Frederick Douglass, and Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad.

Joining Dwight on the monumental journey are venture capitalist Mason Angel; French brewer Sylvain Chiron; software…

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