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Ed Dwight, 90, Launched Into Space 60 Years Later, Becomes Oldest Person In Space

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Sixty years after being selected as America’s first black astronaut candidate, Ed Dwight finally launched into space on Sunday, traveling with Jeff Bezos’ rocket firm.

Former President John F. Kennedy supported Dwight as a candidate for NASA’s early astronaut corps while he was an Air Force pilot. He was not chosen for the 1963 class, though.

During a roughly 10-minute voyage, Dwight, who is now 90 years old, experienced a brief period of weightlessness along with five other passengers in the Blue Origin capsule as it skimmed space. “A life changing experience,” he calls it.

Soon after stepping out of the capsule, Dwight commented, “I thought I really didn’t need this in my life. But I am thrilled because I need it in my life right now.”

After a quick trip from West Texas, Dwight set a new record for the oldest person in space, surpassing “Star Trek” star William Shatner by over two months in 2021.

Dwight, a Denver-based sculptor, was accompanied by four American and French business owners as well as a retired accountant. The cost of their tickets was kept a secret; Dwight’s seat was partially funded by the charity Space for Humanity.

Dwight was one of the possible astronauts NASA was advised by the Air Force to consider. However, he was not selected for the 1963 class, which featured future Gemini and Apollo astronauts including Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin from Apollo 11. In 1983, Guion Bluford became the first African American in space after NASA began accepting applications for Black astronauts in 1978.

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