Ronald Erwin McNair | S.C. Hall of Fame

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One of three astronauts inducted into the South Carolina Hall Of Fame, Ronald McNair was one of the shuttle astronauts killed in the Challenger explosion on January 28, 1986. Born and raised in Lake City, South Carolina, Dr. McNair graduated from Carver High School and went on to receive a BS in Physics from North Carolina A&T State University, a Ph.D. in Physics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Honorary Doctorate of Laws from North Carolina A&T State University. In 1978 Dr. McNair was one of 35 applicants selected from a pool of 10,000 for the NASA astronaut program. In February of 1984 he flew on STS-41-B aboard the space shuttle Challenger as a mission specialist, becoming the second African-American to fly in space. His second mission was STS-51-L, the mission where the space shuttle Challenger exploded nine miles above the Atlantic Ocean just 73 seconds after take-off.