Up, up, away!
This Sunday, Nov. 15, at 7:27pm EST, Victor Glover will be soaring into space, piloting The SpaceX Crew-1 mission. He is knocking out several firsts with this flight. Glover is the first Black person in space since Alvin Drew in 2007, the first Black astronaut to fly for SpaceX, and the first to move into the International Space Station for an extended stay. There have been other Black astronauts to visit the station while it was under construction, however they were members of space shuttle crews and their stays were brief. Glover told MyNews13 that he’s over the moon about the mission.
“The opportunity to fly to space at all is just truly amazing, but then to be able to do it on a spacecraft that is made by this great company SpaceX, it’s an honor, it’s just icing on the cake,” Glover told Florida Today, “I’m really excited to be able to fly on Crew Dragon.”
Crew-1 is complete with Dragon Rider training. We’ve got our license to fly! Thank you to all that made this possible. We hope to make you proud! pic.twitter.com/HA2AYz77Bj
— Victor Glover (@AstroVicGlover) September 26, 2020
Glover, along with his crewmembers, Shannon Walker, Michael Hopkins, and Soichi Noguchi from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, will be on the first operational flight on SpaceX’s Crew Dragon on Sunday from the Kennedy Space Center. This will be a groundbreaking mission for NASA as well. It is the first fully-crewed mission with SpaceX using its Falcon 9 rocket to lift four astronauts to the ISS.
The 44-year-old Southern Californian native and Cal Poly engineering graduate, where he pledged Phi Beta Sigma, was a Navy test pilot and a Legislative Fellow for the late Sen. John McCain before becoming an astronaut. It was in 2012 while working in congress that Glover was selected for the NASA astronaut program. He is the only rookie spaceman on his crew, but he said he can’t wait to experience space.
“Listening to Shannon and Soichi and Mike talk about their Souyz experience, their space shuttle experience, and their lives on the International Space Station, and how they managed their families and communication and keeping their things together, all of that has been so valuable to me and to top it all off, we have a great time,” Glover told MyNews13.
Glover will be leaving his wife and children at home in Berkley, California, for six months while he’s away in space. He told reporters his kids might enjoy some time away after being together throughout the pandemic.
Photo Credit: Olivia Cleary/Facebook
“I think now with the pandemic, and with us having to be a little more isolated than normal, I think (my daughters are) also ready for dad to go ahead, get out to low-Earth-orbit so maybe they can go back to school and have a little bit more of a social life,” Glover said.
Glover will use his 22 years of piloting experience, including Operation Iraqi Freedom, to safely get the crew to the International Space Station. Before he takes off, he plans to continue his tradition of calling his family and saying a prayer.
“There’s a phone on the 265 (foot) level right before we walk into the crew access arm, and I hope that I’ll be able to call my family and hear their voices, and then I’ll get in the vehicle and say a little prayer for the crew and for the mission and for all the systems,” he told reporters.
In 2021, Astronaut Jeanette Epps will be the first Black woman to take up residence at the International Space Station when her crew takes off for their six month mission.
Photo Credit: NASA