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Cascade Resident Honors His Brother and 2nd African-American in Space, Astronaut Ronald McNair

Carl McNair, the brother of 2nd African-American in space said "early exposure to STEM programs and encouragement goes a long way."


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?

Kwanza Fisher February 27, 2013 at 06:56 PM
I am so proud to be a resident of the Cascade area. So many amazing individuals and such a strong community. Hats off to such a hero.
Donna Satchell February 27, 2013 at 09:01 PM
What a wonderful article about Carl McNair honoring his brother, Ronald McNair, the 2nd African American astronaut to enter space. The article and the video mentioned inspires and encourages all of us to pursue our dreams regardless of the obstacles.
Dr. George H. Jennett March 02, 2013 at 05:48 PM
I am a science teacher in the Southwest Atlanta area and was very excited after reading this article. The McNair family has blazed a trail in science and discovery that the next generation can follow. At Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy the students will send a Weather Balloon 100,000 feet into the stratosphere! They will attach cameras, retrieve them, then upload the footage on the internet. I would love to get Carl McNair involved. How can I send him a message?
Valetine Lawrence May 08, 2013 at 02:22 PM
Lest we not forget....thank you for this article...very uplifting.
Mi Joy May 15, 2013 at 06:56 PM
WOW! How did I miss this article? Knowing more of my history makes me proud to be Black!

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