Webcasts

NASA honors Black History Month with live webcasts

NASA has a series of talks ready to discuss the impact of Black History Month on space exploration.

From highlighting African Americans who flew in space to black people working at the agency’s top levels today, NASA’s Black History talks will include webcasts and other events. live to continue the conversation.

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NASA is also working to honor the contributions of misrecognized black people over the past few decades, such as the “Hidden Figures” engineers and scientists who contributed to the agency’s early space programs.

Several events are listed on the NASA TV website, which will be broadcast live on NASA TV, the NASA app, and on Space.com. The program so far includes the following:

  • February 4, 1 p.m. EST (6 p.m. GMT) – Virtual Black History Month Event: Health and Wellness
  • Feb. 9, 12 p.m. EST (5 p.m. GMT) – Virtual Black History Month Event: Mental Health and Suicide Awareness
  • February 16, 12:30 p.m. ET (5:30 p.m. GMT) – Black History Month Virtual Event: Nutritional Health
  • February 23, 12 p.m. EST (5 p.m. GMT) – Black History Month Virtual Event: Physical Health

(Editor’s note: In the United States, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a helpline for people in crisis; call 1-800-273-8255. Alternatively, you can text the crisis text line; text “HELLO” to 741741.)

NASA astronaut Victor Glover tests out the European Space Agency's Time experiment in this image, taken aboard the International Space Station where Glover is currently staying.  The experiment uses virtual reality technology to see how being in space changes an astronaut's perception of time.

NASA astronaut Victor Glover tests out the European Space Agency’s Time experiment in this image, taken aboard the International Space Station where Glover is currently staying. The experiment uses virtual reality technology to see how being in space changes an astronaut’s perception of time. (Image credit: NASA)

In recent years, NASA has also attempted to include more discussion of slavery, systemic racism, and their impact on early agency history. For example, NASA also honors Juneteenth every year.

In June 2020, former NASA administrator Charles Bolden (the agency’s only black administrator to date) told Space.com that more advocacy efforts were needed at the agency. “We don’t have enough representation in the astronaut office, by women and minorities,” said Bolden, himself a former astronaut.

Bolden also criticized the fact that at the time of his discussion, no African-American crew members had flown on the International Space Station, which has been accepting long-term crews since 2000 except for short space shuttle visits. . In November 2020, astronaut Victor Glover embarked on a SpaceX Crew Dragon and became the first black crew member of an ISS expedition crew.

Follow Elizabeth Howell on Twitter @howellspace. Follow us on twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.