Chosen by JFK then excluded from the Apollo 11 mission, he finally made his first space flight at… 90 years old – Ouest-France evening edition

Chosen by JFK then excluded from the Apollo 11 mission, he finally made his first space flight at… 90 years old – Ouest-France evening edition
Chosen by JFK then excluded from the Apollo 11 mission, he finally made his first space flight at… 90 years old – Ouest-France evening edition

Chosen by JF Kennedy to be the first African-American to go into space in the 1960s, Ed Dwight ultimately never reached the stars, because of the President’s assassination. Sixty years later, then aged 90, he was able to make his dream come true, Sunday May 19, 2024.

He had to wait more than sixty years to get closer to the stars. At 90 years old, the American and former Air Force captain Ed Dwight gravitated into space for ten minutes, Sunday May 19, before returning to dry land.

He flew with five other members, aboard one of the rockets of Blue Origin, the space tourism company of multi-billionaire Jeff Bezos. The wait was worth it as Ed Dwight now holds the record for the oldest person to have crossed the Karman Line, considered the boundary between Earth’s atmosphere and space.

Chosen by JF Kennedy

Born in 1933, in Kansas City (United States), Ed Dwight joined the Air Force in 1953. While the race to conquer space between the United States and the Soviet bloc intensified in In the 1960s, American President John F. Kennedy’s team set out in search of ideal candidates to fly to the stars. When he was 27 years old, the President himself suggested that Ed Dwight be the first African-American to go into space, for the Apollo 11 mission. He then followed an astronaut training program at the NASA.

Pilot Chuck Yeager [le premier à avoir dépassé le mur du son] would then have asked his colleagues not to speak to Ed Dwight anymore, to pressure him so that he abandons the mission “, reports the American media CNN. The newspaper The Denever Post precise: “Ed Dwight receives a lot of racist comments, even though he is on the cover of different magazines, being a guest on television, etc. »

Also read: Failed 11 times before going into space at the age of 47, the story of this astronaut is a hit as a film

IMB, a barbecue restaurant and sculptures

His dream faded definitively when JF Kennedy was assassinated in November 1963. Ed Dwight then resigned from the Air Force three years later. He joined IMB as an engineer, and took a short break from the world of catering and barbecue. Tired of the ribs, he turned towards art at the age of 44. Ed Dwight received his MFA from the University of Denver in 1977. He focused the remainder of his career on sculpture, creating more than “18,000 works for public spaces or for sale “, reports The Denver Post. His artistic work highlights African-American personalities such as Duke Ellington, Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks…

Blue Origin

When you dream of flying into space, it’s hard to think of anything else. Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk’s space tourism rekindles Ed Dwight’s desire. Blue Origin has already sent around thirty tourists into space to admire the Earth. Places are expensive (and ticket prices kept secret). To make her dream come true, RTBF specifies that Ed Dwight’s ten minutes of flight were possible thanks to the financial participation of the organization “Space for Humanity”. With a laughing eye, barely off the rocket, Ed Dwight sticks out his tongue: “It was worth the long wait!” »

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