Ed Dwight's Historic Journey: From Dream Deferred to Space Realized at 90


Ed Dwight, once on the verge of becoming America's first Black astronaut, finally saw his dream come true at 90. On Sunday, Dwight embarked on his maiden space voyage with five crewmates aboard Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket, marking the first passenger flight in nearly two years for Jeff Bezos' space venture.

Dwight's journey made him the oldest person to reach space, surpassing Star Trek actor William Shatner’s 2021 record. His diverse crew included Mason Angel, Sylvain Chiron, Kenneth Hess, Gopi Thotakura, and Carol Schaller. They soared to over 347,000 feet, crossing the Kármán line and experiencing brief weightlessness.

The New Shepard booster returned dramatically, landing near the launch site. The crew capsule safely touched down under two parachutes. Emerging triumphantly, Dwight exclaimed, "Fantastic! A life-changing experience. Everyone needs to do this!"

In the 1960s, Dwight was an Air Force captain on the fast track to space flight after President Kennedy called for a Black astronaut. Despite graduating in the top half of his class, he was passed over, a story he details in his autobiography, Soaring On The Wings Of A Dream. After his Air Force career, Dwight became a celebrated sculptor, renowned for depicting historic African American figures. His journey from almost being an astronaut to achieving his space dream is a testament to perseverance.

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