Host Michel Martin's talk with Bernard Harris is the first part in our series called "Flying High: First In Their Class ," in which we speak with astronauts and other pioneers of space exploration who have broken new ground.
Bernard Harris was the first African American to walk in space. He's also a physician and trained flight surgeon, and the founder of The Harris Foundation. That's a non-profit organization that provides education in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math to students, particularly minorities and those who are economically or socially disadvantaged. Mission STS-63, which Bernard Harris participated in, was historic in many ways. Not only was it when Dr. Harris made his groundbreaking space walk, but it was also the first mission to be piloted by a woman (Eileen Collins,) and the first US mission to the Russian Mir space station. Dr. Harris currently lives in Houston, and remains very active in his educational efforts aimed at getting children interested in and excited about science.