Honoring Ronald McNair On Challenger Disaster Anniversary

Ronald McNair, American physicist, astronaut and second black person to fly into space, was killed in the Challenger disaster 31 years ago

Ronald McNair was among the Challenger crew that perished on January 28, 1986 on Challenger shuttle launch.

He was a promising young physicist, a skilled saxophonist, and the second black person to fly into space.

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In this wonderful animated short film Ronald McNair’s brother Carl and his friend Vernon Skipper remember young Ronald’s defiant spirit of curiosity.

Folded into this affectionate account is a larger piece of civil rights history, a counterpoint to cultural stereotypes about race, law enforcement and even librarians, and a meditation on the elemental impulse for curiosity that animates all scientists and propels all science. Above all, the story emanates a clarion call to never forget — never forget our history, however difficult it may be to own up to, never forget our heroes, however tragic their fate, and never forget the power of storytelling as a caring keeper of our collective memory.

RIP Ronald McNair and the crew of Challenger.

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