Navy Commander Victor Glover Jr. Makes “Small Step for Man,
One Giant Leap for Mankind”
COMPILED BY JALESSA NEAL, TIMES STAFF WRITER
“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” These iconic words mark a moment in American history amid the space race. Now, history is being made in space once again. Commander Victor Glover Jr. makes history as the 1st African American astronaut to have a prolonged stay on the International Space Station.
According to CNN, astronauts Mike Hopkins and Victor Glover Jr. conducted a spacewalk last Wednesday to upgrade and maintain the International Space Station. It was the first spacewalk experience for Glover, who is a few months into his first spaceflight on the station.
“What a beautiful view,” Glover, 44, said after he began the spacewalk.
Glover’s biography on NASA’s website explains that he was born in Pomona, California. His mother lives in southern California, and his father and stepmother live in Prosper, Texas. He graduated from Ontario High School in 1994 before earning his Bachelor of Science in General Engineering at California Polytechnic State University. He would go on to get his Master of Science in Flight Test Engineering (USAF TPS) from Air University, Edwards Air Force Base in 2007; Master of Science in Systems Engineering (PD‐21) from Naval Postgraduate School in 2009; and his Master of Military Operational Art and Science from Air University, Montgomery, Alabama in 2010.
He and his wife, Dionna, were married in 2002 and they have four daughters. As a Naval Aviator, he and his family have been stationed in many locations in the United States and Japan and he has deployed in combat and peacetime.
“Of course I’m excited, but it’s also a little scary,” Dionna Glover told the Christian Chronicle before Victor’s takeoff. “I’m nervous. I’m excited for him. I have Scriptures that I’m reading regularly to try to remind myself not to worry and not to stress.”
Glover is currently serving as a pilot and second-in-command on the Crew-1 SpaceX Crew Dragon, named Resilience, which launched November 15, 2020. He will also serve as Flight Engineer on the International Space Station for Expedition 64.
According to NASA, following commissioning Glover began preflight training in Pensacola, Florida, and completed his advanced flight training in Kingsville, Texas, earning his wings of gold on December 14, 2001. In 2002, Glover reported to the Marine Fleet Replacement Squadron, VMFAT‐101. In 2003, he was assigned to the Blue Blasters of Strike Fighter Squadron VFA‐34. While deployed, he completed a Space Systems Certificate from the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS). Glover was then selected as the United States Navy’s exchange pilot to attend the Air Force Test Pilot School. During the one‐year experimental test piloting course, he flew more than 30 aircrafts in the U.S. and Italy.
In 2009, Glover received orders to the Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. Following graduation, Glover reported to the Dambusters of Strike Fighter Squadron VFA‐195, in Japan, where he served as a Department Head. In 2012, Glover was selected for the Legislative Fellowship. He reported to the Office of Legislative Affairs in Washington, D.C., and was assigned to the office of a U.S. Senator. While in Washington D.C., he completed a Certificate in Legislative Studies at Georgetown University. Glover was a Legislative Fellow in the U.S. Senate when selected as an astronaut candidate.
Glover was selected in 2013 as one of eight members of the 21st NASA astronaut class. In 2015, he completed Astronaut Candidate Training, including scientific and technical briefings, intensive instruction in International Space Station systems, spacewalks, robotics, physiological training, T-38 flight training and water and wilderness survival training.
The spacewalk last week officially began at 6:28 a.m. and it lasted for about six hours and 56 minutes.
According to CNN, the astronauts focused on progress with the installation of Bartolomeo, the newest payload hosting station outside the European Space Agency’s Columbus module. They worked on antenna and cable rigging to hook up power and data connections.
The two astronauts joked after five hours that they wished they could go to the space station’s airlock and pop in for some “snacks and bacon.”
Glover has received various recognitions over the years including Ontario High School 1994 athlete of the year; Distinguished Graduate and Regimental Commander, U.S. Navy Officer Candidate School; Named one of Jet Magazine’s inaugural 40 under 40 in 2013; among others. His Military decorations include a Navy Commendation Medal and two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals.
He is also a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.; Society of Experimental Test Pilots; National Society of Black Engineers; International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE); and others.
In addition to Hopkins and Glover, NASA astronauts Shannon Walker and Kate Rubins, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Soichi Noguchi, as well as Russian cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov are all on the station.
There are more spacewalks planned for the crew near the end of the month and beginning in March.
“I think it’s important that America’s space program represent the best of America,” said Glover during an
interview on the Today Show. “For little kids to see someone who looks like them, that is super important to me.”