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Robert Henry Lawrence, Jr.
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Military Personnel
    (October 2, 1935-December 8, 1967)
    Born in Chicago, Illinois
    US Air Force test pilot and flight instructor
    Selected for the USAF Manned Orbital Laboratory (MOL) program, becoming the first black astronaut (June, 1967)
    Died in the crash of an F-104 Starfighter at Edwards Air Force Base
    He died before he had a chance to make it to space.
    His name was omitted from the Fallen Astronauts plaque left on the moon by the Apollo 15 crew.
    Similarly, he was not added to the Space Mirror Memorial at the Kennedy Space Center until 1997.
    He graduated in the top ten percent of his high school at age 16.
    His test flights were important in developing the steep-descent gliding technique used on the Space Shuttle.
    His MOL mission patch was flown on the shuttle Atlantis (1997).

Credit: C. Fishel

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