In this 40-year-old image from September 5, 1983, Guion “Guy” Bluford checks out the sample pump on the continuous flow electrophoresis system (CFES) experiment in the middeck of the Earth-orbiting space shuttle Challenger.
Just over forty years ago, on August 30, 1983, he launched from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, becoming the first African American to fly in space. Bluford was a member of NASA’s “Thirty-Five New Guys” – the 1978 astronaut class, which had the first African American, the first Asian American, and the first women astronauts.
During the STS-8 mission, the crew deployed the Indian National Satellite INSAT-1B, operated the Canadian-built Remote Manipulator System with the Payload Flight Test Article, operated the CFES, conducted medical measurements to understand biophysiological effects of spaceflight, and activated four “Getaway Special” canisters. STS-8 completed 98 orbits of the Earth in 145 hours before landing at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on September 5, 1983.