Ron McNair at MIT, late 1970s

Ron McNair at MIT
Courtesy MIT Museum

Ronald E. McNair as a doctoral student at MIT, shortly before becoming a NASA astronaut, late 1970s.

Ronald "Ron" Erwin McNair PhD '77 studied physics under professor Michael Feld. McNair became the second African-American NASA astronaut to make a flight to outer space. He was Mission Specialist for Space Shuttle "Challenger" in February 1984. In the January 1986 mission, McNair and eight other astronauts lost their lives in the space shuttle Challenger accident, and MIT renamed a campus building in McNair's honor.

The satisfying thing about physics itself is the feeling of having understood and unlocked something heretofore unknown.

Ron McNair

Timeline: 1970s
School: School of Science
Department: Physics
Life: Omega Psi Phi
Career: EngineeringScienceTechnology
Object: Image
Collection: Integration and Differentiation 1969-1994, Michael Feld, NASA, Ronald E. McNair, Students