Guion Stewart Bluford Jr., Ph.D. is an American aerospace engineer, retired U.S. Air Force officer and fighter pilot, and former NASA astronaut, who was the first African American in space. Before becoming an astronaut, he was an officer in the U.S. Air Force, where he remained while assigned to NASA, rising to the rank of Colonel. He participated in four Space Shuttle flights between 1983 and 1992. In 1983, as a member of the crew of the Orbiter Challenger on the mission STS-8, he became the first African American in space as well as the second person of African ancestry in space, after Cuban cosmonaut Arnaldo Tamayo Méndez.
STS-8 was the third mission of Space Shuttle Challenger. It deployed an Indian 10 and Weather satellite. It was the first night launch and night landing of the Shuttle program. It also carried the first African-American astronaut; Guion Bluford.Low Earth Orbit
STS-61-A was the twenty-second space shuttle flight and ninth for Space Shuttle Challenger. It was a scientific spacelab mission funded entirely by West Germany. The payload operations were controlled from the German Space Operations Center as opposed to the regular NASA centers.Low Earth Orbit
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is an independent agency of the executive branch of the United States federal government responsible for the civilian space program, as well as aeronautics and aerospace research. NASA have many launch facilities but most are inactive. The most commonly used pad will be LC-39B at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.