RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) — The Virginia Museum of History & Culture, or VMHC, and the University of Richmond, or UR, will present the Legacy of Black Astronauts Program on Oct. 25-26.

In the program, Virginia astronauts Leland D. Melvin and Dr. Robert L. Satcher will discuss the past, present and future contributions of Black astronauts to human space flight, according to the press release.

During Satcher’s time on NASA’s STS-129 Mission with Melvin, he served as a mission specialist. During the mission, he performed two spacewalks.

He was born in Hampton, Va. He graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard Medical School. Currently, Satcher works at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX. He serves as an associate professor in the department of oncology.

Another first for Satcher, he was the first orthopedic surgeon to travel into space.

Learn more about his experience on the mission and his path to becoming an astronaut in the two-day event.

The events will take place at VMHC. Here is the schedule, below:

  • Wednesday, Oct. 25 at 6 p.m., Legacy of Black Astronauts evening lecture
  • Thursday, Oct. 26 at 10 a.m., a school program for students

Melvin and Satcher were the first African Americans to fly to space together on the same mission. During the lecture, they will share their experience. The student program will focus on their path to becoming astronauts.

Photo courtesy of the Virginia Museum of History & Culture.

Jamie Bosket, is the president, and CEO of VMHC.

“Legacy of Black Astronauts presents a rare opportunity for visitors to experience two astronauts who are both integral to Virginia’s history,” said Bosket, in a statement. “Dr. Robert L. Satcher and Leland Melvin have had remarkable careers, and are a testament to the power of hard work and determination.”

The Wednesday evening lecture on Oct. 25 is open to the public. Tickets are required. After the talk, there will be a book signing for Melvin’s books Chasing Space and Chasing Space Young Readers’ Edition. The books will be available for pre-sale through the museum. Guests are asked to limit signed items to two items per person. There will also be light refreshments available for ticketholders.

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