Four astronauts are currently traveling to the International Space Station in the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule. The capsule has been named Resilience, and it was launched from Florida early this morning. It carries three American astronauts: Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, and Shannon Walker, and one Japanese astronautr – Soichi Noguchi from JAXA, the Japanese space agency.
Victor Glover will go down in history as NASA’s first Black crew member. Glover joined NASA back in 2013, and he will be the first Black astronaut to join the extended crew aboard the ISS following their 27-hour journey through space.
Only 14 Black Americans have been sent to space across NASA’s history, from a total of more than 300 astronauts. Glover is not the first Black astronaut to board the space station, but he’s the first one that will stay there.
Glover will stay at the station for around six months. When asked how he felt about it, this is what he said:
“It is something to be celebrated once we accomplish it, and I am honored to be in this position and to be a part of this great and experienced crew. And I look forward to getting up there and doing my best to make sure, you know, we are worthy of all the work that’s been put into setting us up for this mission.
You know, unlike the election – that is in the past or receding in the past – this mission is still ahead of me. So, let’s get there, and I’ll talk to you after I get on board.”
Mae Jemison was the first Black woman to go to space in 1992, while Guion S. Bluford Jr. became the first Black American man to go to space in 1983.
It’s expected that Jeanette Epps will become the first Black woman to join the ISS crew next year.