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Dr. Ronald McNair
Ronald Erwin McNair was a South Carolina native, published physicist, and National Aeronautics and Space Administration astronaut. McNair was born in 1950 in Lake City, SC. His father was an auto mechanic and his mother worked as a high school teacher.
As a child, he was obsessed with Sputnik and would talk incessantly about the Russian satellite. Upon graduating from high school, McNair attended North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in Greensboro, NC where he graduated magna cum laude from the physics program. In 1977, NASA invited him to apply for the space program.
Of the 10,000 applicants, McNair was 1 out of 35 chosen to become an astronaut. To honor his accomplishments, Lake City renamed a street after him. Tragically, his life was cut short in 1986 when the Challenger Space Shuttle exploded due to known preventable engineering issues.
A quick fact page about Ronald E. McNair.
McNair is remembered for his dedication to exploration, curiosity, and education through a competitive post-baccalaureate program called the "McNair Scholars." More information can be found at the link above.
Visual Histories of Ronald E. McNair
Books about NASA & McNair
How NASA Builds Teams
Every successful organization needs high-performance teams to compete and succeed. Yet, technical people are often resistant to traditional "touchy-feely" team building. To improve communication, performance, and morale among NASA's technical teams, former NASA Astrophysicist Dr.Charlie Pellerin developed the team building process described in"How NASA Builds Teams"?an approach that is proven,quantitative, and requires only a fraction of the time and resources of traditional training methods.
Ron's Big Mission
Nine-year-old Ron loves going to the Lake City Public Library to look through all the books on airplanes and flight. Today, Ron is ready to take out books by himself. But in the segregated world of South Carolina in the 1950s, Ron's obtaining his own library card is not just a small rite of passage--it is a young man's first courageous mission. Here is an inspiring story, based on Ron McNair's life, of how a little boy, future scientist, and Challenger astronaut desegregated his library through peaceful resistance.