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Friday, December 01, 2006

2 Blacks on Same Shuttle: There Goes the Neighborhood

When a critical mass of blacks move into a white neighborhood, all or most of the whites move out. The pattern was clearly established in virtually every city in the U.S. in the 20th Century. The environment in space will probably be no different. We figure soon there will be shuttles with all black crews on the dark side of the Earth and all white crews on the sun side. Just as on Earth, there can't be too much race mixing in outer space. Maybe NASA didn't get the memo.

Seriously, it is great that it has become common for blacks to travel in space. Special thanks to Booker Rising for pointing this out. Joan Higginbotham, above left, and Robert Curbeam Jr, above right, will blast off from Cape Kennedy on December 7 for 12 days in space.

Higginbotham, 42, is from Chicago and Curbeam, 44, is from Baltimore. Both will be working on the International Space Station. Curbeam will make a couple of spacewalks to help rewire the station. You had to know they would put the brother on a construction crew :) Two other black women have flown in space on the shuttle, Dr. Mae Jemison and Stephanie Wilson (earlier this year). Higginbotham has an electrical engineering degree from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. Curbeam attended Top Gun flight school and has an aerospace engineering degree from the U.S. Naval Academy and an aeronautical engineering degree from the Naval Postgraduate School.

Guin Buford was the first Black male to fly in space in 1983. Ronald McNair died in the Challenger explosion shortly after liftoff and Michael Anderson was lost in 2003 when the space shuttle burned and exploded during reentry. (The Washington Afro American)

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