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Published on February 27, 2024
North Texas' Own Victor Glover Set to Be First Black Man Moonbound on NASA's Historic Artemis II FlightNASA on Unsplash

In an upcoming mission that edges closer to the stars, NASA astronaut Victor Glover, with deep roots in North Texas, is on course to carve his name in the annals of space exploration. According to FOX 4 News, Glover is slated to pilot the Artemis II mission alongside a four-person crew, marking the first crewed lunar orbit journey in more than half a century. This historic flight will not only revisit the moon's vicinity but also see Glover become the first Black man to orbit Earth's only natural satellite.

"It’s bittersweet. It really truly is because I'm excited. My grandparents are excited, my parents, are excited. But I also think it’s 2024. It'll be 2025 and that’s the first time," Glover expressed in an interview with FOX 26 in Houston. The milestone comes with a hope that the diversity reflected in the Artemis II crew will serve as a beacon for the next wave of astronauts. "Absolutely. I think it’s important for people to dream in all color," Glover added, emphasizing the imperative of inclusivity in the realm of cosmic pursuits.

Before reaching for the lunar fringes, Glover's journey began on surer ground, tracing back to an encounter that catapulted a young collegiate into the expanse of possibilities. Glover met Dr. Carl Wallace, a Black faculty member at California’s Polytechnic State, who played a pivotal role in shaping his future trajectory. "He has passed away since, Dr. Carl Wallace. He had on a Navy uniform. He was a reserve captain, which is the rank I am now. But as soon as I saw him that gap in my knowledge went away," Glover told FOX 26 in Houston. The inspiration gleaned from this encounter propelled Glover to amass three engineering-related master’s degrees and eventually, ascend to the stars.

Victor Glover's saga reads like the embodiment of childhood dreams fused with relentless determination. The moment that marked a turning point came not among the clouds but on the marbled floors of bureaucracy. Glover missed the first call that would launch his astronaut career, as recounted in an interview by NPR. The subsequent conversation revealed his selection for NASA's rigorous astronaut candidate training—a coveted spot he secured amongst eight chosen from over 6,300 hopefuls. "And ... I look down at myself and I'm thinking, I am dreaming," Glover reminisced about the surreal moment that confirmed his entry into the astronaut corps.

Setting sail on this odyssey is more than just professional triumph; it's a legacy in motion. Glover is no stranger to setting records, as he is already known as the first Black man to take up long-term residence aboard the International Space Station. His father, a resident of Prosper, stands testament to the local pride energized by Glover's accomplishments. As the Artemis II mission gears up for its slated launch by the end of next year, both Glover, and an entire community of dreamers look forward, not just to the journey but to what it represents—a milestone in a storied journey of perseverance, opportunity, and the inexorable drive towards the great beyond.