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Ed Dwight is Finally Going to Space, 60 Years Later

Courtesy of Ed Dwight/National Geographic via AP and AP Photo/Chris Pizzello
Uplifting News

He Thought He’d Be the First Black Man in Space — Now the 90-Year-Old’s Dream is Coming True

It’s been a few years since President Kennedy selected this man for a space mission.

Back in the sixties, an American named Ed Dwight thought he would be the first Black astronaut in space. He never made it, but years later, the 90-year-old is preparing for his inaugural flight.

A Hopeful Mission

View of Earth and satellite

View of Earth and satellite

Photo by NASA on Unsplash

In 1961, President John. F. Kennedy selected Air Force member Ed Dwight to enter a training program that would pave the way to NASA’s Astronaut Corps, reports CBS News. It was an opportunity that meant Dwight would become the first Black astronaut.

“I thought these dudes were crazy,” he recalled. Still, he went through the training and completed the program two years later. The Air Force recommended that he join the corps, but surprisingly, he wasn’t selected.

“So, all these white folks that I'm dealing with, I mean, my peers, the other guys that were astronaut candidates, and the leadership was just horrified at the idea of my coming down to Edwards and the president appointing me to the position,” Dwight said.

When Kennedy was assassinated, so was Dwight's journey to space. He left the Air Force in 1966 to pursue art and spent the next 60 years creating sculptures of iconic figures in Black history. According to CBS, more than 130 of Dwight’s pieces have been shown in public spaces and museums.

Meanwhile, it wasn’t until 1983 that the first Black astronaut, Guion Bluford, actually reached space.

A Second Chance

Dwight is now 90 years old, but he never gave up his dream of going to space. Sixties years later, it’s finally happening. The man is one of six civilians who will board the upcoming June Blue Origin flight to the edge of space.

The company, which was founded by Jeff Bezos, has already completed 22 successful space missions. Many of those flights have included celebrities, like Michael Strahan and William Shatner.

When Shatner flew into space in 2021, he became the oldest man to do so at 90 years old. Now, Dwight will tie that record with his $250,000 ticket, which is sponsored by Space for Humanity.

Dream Big

Sometimes a dream may seem too far-fetched to ever become a reality. Or perhaps you were on the road to realizing a dream, but something came up, and it just didn’t happen. This story proves that sometimes a dream might not happen the way you thought it would, but that doesn’t mean it can’t still come true.

Dwight's upcoming journey into the atmosphere, where he’ll experience weightlessness and a spectacular view of space and Earth, isn’t what he initially thought his journey to space would be like. Yet he’s still going, and in that way, his dream is coming true.

The takeaway for all of us is that we should never be afraid to dream, and to dream big. Sure, the dream might not come true, but by giving up you’re ensuring that it won’t. Dreams give us a sense of purpose and meaning, and the more we invest in them, the more complete we can be.

Sometimes it may take a whole lifetime, but as Edwards proves, dreams do come true.

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