BY Mohammed Awal, 12:30pm December 19, 2019,

Meet the African-American astronauts who made it to space

Image result for Benjamin Alvin Drew Jr
Photo credit: Wikimedia

Benjamin Alvin Drew Jr.

After watching the Apollo 7 mission, Alvin Drew’s interest in becoming an astronaut was birthed. Born in Washington, Drew began his career at the United States Air Force Academy where he received his commission as a second lieutenant in May 1984.

He completed Undergraduate Helicopter Pilot Training and earned his wings at Fort Rucker Ala. in May 1984. 

Drew’s initial assignment was to the HH-3E helicopter flying combat rescue. He transitioned to the MH-60G helicopter and was assigned to the Air Force Special Operations Command. He flew combat missions in operations Just Cause, Desert Shield/Desert Storm and Provide Comfort. He completed USAF Fixed-Wing Qualification in April 1993 and the United States Naval Test Pilot School in June 1994. He has commanded two flight test units and served on the Air Combat Command Staff. He is a Command Pilot with 3000 hours of flying time in more than 30 types of aircraft.

Drew was one of 17 chosen to train with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 2000. He would, seven years later, be one of seven astronauts selected for the 119th space shuttle flight. 

Drew’s second spaceflight took place in March 2011 on STS-133, another mission to the International Space Station. STS-133 was Space Shuttle Discovery’s final mission. Drew took part in two spacewalks while docked to the station.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: December 19, 2019

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