NASA's Victor Glover made history on Tuesday as he stepped aboard the International Space Station, becoming the first Black astronaut to start a full long-term stay of six months on the 358-foot wide floating workshop.
Even before reaching their destination in outer space, Glover and his three crewmates – Mike Hopkins and Shannon Walker of NASA and Soichi Noguchi from Japan – were already part of a historic mission when they blasted away on Sunday night.
Riding the SpaceX Crew Dragon ship nicknamed "Resilience," Crew-1's trip represented the "first-ever contracted, fully operational astronaut mission to the space station" between SpaceX and NASA, per Space.com.
Other Black astronauts have visited the ISS for a few weeks at a time throughout the 20 years that crews have lived there. But Glover's stay will last more than six months – he's supporting two official missions: Expedition 64 and 65. It's about damn time!
When asked about his notable place in the space-time continuum, Glover maintained a smooth and steady outlook. "It is something to be celebrated once we accomplish it, and, you know, I am honored to be in this position and to be a part of this great and experienced crew," the 44-year-old said at a news conference last week. "And I look forward to getting up there and doing my best to make sure that, you know, we are worthy of all the work that's been put into setting us up for this mission."
As they got closer to arriving though, Hopkins revealed to ground control that Glover "hasn't stopped [smiling] since we've been up here."
The father of four has at least four degrees to match, including master's degrees in flight test engineering, systems engineering and military operational art and science. He was selected to be an astronaut in 2013 following a career in the Navy.
Jeanette Epps is another trailblazer to keep an eye on. Next year, she could become the first Black woman to join an ISS squad when she helps pilot the Boeing Starliner capsule. You love to hear it.