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Ronald McNair
McNair, c. early 1980s
NASA astronaut
Nationality American
Status Killed during mission
Born (1950-10-21)October 21, 1950
Lake City, South Carolina, U.S.
Died January 28, 1986(1986-01-28) (aged 35)
Cape Canaveral, Florida, U.S.
Other occupation Physicist
Time in space 7d 23h 15m
Selection 1978 NASA Group
Mission insignia Sts-41-b-patch.png STS-51-L-patch-small.png
Awards Congressional Space Medal of Honor

Ronald Erwin McNair (October 21, 1950 – January 28, 1986) was an American NASA astronaut and physicist. His first space mission was STS-41-B aboard Space Shuttle Challenger in 1984. After this mission, he was again on Challenger for STS-51-L. He died at the start of this mission when the space shuttle was destroyed during the launch. He was the second African American in space.

McNair was born in Lake City, South Carolina. He earned degrees at North Carolina A&T State University (B.S.) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Ph.D.). He also held four honorary doctorates and many fellowships. He was married to Cheryl Moore. The couple had two children.

On January 28, 1986, Space Shuttle Challenger broke apart 73 seconds after launch. McNair and all six others aboard died.


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