Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Dr. Bernard Harris

As you’re walking around today, or tonight, you should maybe take a look up at the sky. Cloudy or not, there’s a whole universe above your head. It’s larger than anything you can imagine. Today, February 2nd marks the sixth year anniversary of the first African-American walking in space.
Dr. Bernard Harris Junior was born on June 26th, 1956 in Temple, Texas. After graduating high school in 1974, he attended the University of Houston and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree with a focus on Biology. He then went on to Texas Tech School of Medicine, where he graduated with his doctorate in medicine. After working primarily at the Mayo Clinic, he trained as a flight surgeon at the Aerospace School of Medicine.
But enough with the boring stuff ;). Harris became an astronaut in July of 1991 and by February of 1995 he had taken off for an amazing feat. He spent from the second till the eleventh as the Payload Commander of the module. During this flight he logged over 198 hours in space and traveled almost 3 million miles. The NASA site has put his achievement into the best possible phrasing I found, saying, “his space walk made him the first African America to perform an extravehicular activity”.
Harris has, since his amazing adventure, been a member of many prestigious counsels, including the National Medical Association; been honored numerous times, by NASA and various science societies; and even founded his own foundation that supports math and science education and crime prevention programs for youth in America.
Dr. Bernard Harris strived to continue with his education, and his goals, to open the door for younger generations of African Americans to shuttle off into the unknown. Maybe one day I’ll look up and wonder how one of my little brothers is doing in space.
Here’s to dreaming! :)

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