South Carolina has always had an interesting connection to outer space and the universe. Stories of atomic bombs to centers welcoming extraterrestrial life forms to earth have become popular destinations for travel seekers looking to uncover the strange and unusual. Among the stories itched into South Carolina history are three astronauts whose drive pushed them to explore outer space: Charles Duke, Jr. of Apollo 16, Ronald McNair of the Space Shuttle Challenger, and Charles Bolden the current NASA Chief Administrator.
With summer officially here, the team has decided to highlight and showcase a bit of history as well as a favorite educational destination. The first on our list is the Ronald McNair Life History Center, which is located in Lake City, South Carolina and dedicated to the late Dr. Ronald E. McNair. McNair a native of Lake City became the second African American to fly in space aboard the STS-41-B in 1978. McNair’s life was sadly brought to an end on January 28, 1986 during the Challenger spaceship disaster.
Since his death, McNair has been honored with the Congressional Space Medal of Honors the highest award given by NASA. On January 29, 2011, twenty-five years after the Challenger spaceship disaster, the public library in Lake City, South Carolina was dedicated as the Ronald McNair Life History Center.
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