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, c. early 1980s
|Status||Killed during mission|
|Died||January 28, 1986 (aged 35)|
Time in space
|7d 23h 15m|
|Selection||1978 NASA Group|
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.