I am always surprised to learn of the different connections that southwest Atlanta has to various legends and pioneers of almost every discipline. Carl McNair, a resident and reader of Cascade Patch sent us a letter sharing with us a video he created honoring his brother Ronald McNair who was an astronaut with NASA.
If you recall, on January 28, 1986, NASA Challenger mission STS-51-L ended in tragedy when the shuttle exploded 73 seconds after takeoff. Carl's brother Ronald, who is remembered as the 2nd African American to enter space, was on board that day and died.
His brother Carl, who now lives in the Cascade area shared that, "despite crushing poverty and the overt discrimination in the south, Dr. McNair was still able to excel academically. He was named the valedictorian of his high school class and was awarded a state scholarship to North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (NC A&T) in Greensboro."
To honor his brother and in the hope of inspiring more brilliant young African-American scientists and mathematicians, Carl McNair has created a short animated video that shows a cute true story of how Ronald persevered even as a 9 year-old in the segregated South.
"Some scientists start at a very young age. My brother, Astronaut Ronald McNair did," says Carl. Specifically Carl McNair, who has also worked for NASA, says that, "early exposure to STEM programs and encouragement goes a long way. We have got to our children serious about preparing for high paying careers in STEM related fields."
Please share this story and YouTube video of Astronaut Ronald McNair, and remember his legacy. In fact, did you know that the the NASA CEO/ Administrator is a Black man?