Virginia Space Flight Academy (VASFA) to Host Free Screenings of “The Space Race: The Untold Story of the First Black Astronauts” in Celebration of Black History Month

Red, white and blue VASFA logo

Wallops Island, Virginia – Join VASFA for an inspiring evening celebrating Black History Month with free screenings of the National Geographic documentary “The Space Race: The Untold Story of the First Black Astronauts” at two locations: the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and Eastern Shore Community College.

“The Space Race” masterfully intertwines the captivating stories of Black astronauts who courageously sought to break the bonds of social injustice to reach for the stars. Directed by Diego Hurtado de Mendoza and Lisa Cortés, the documentary profiles pioneering individuals such as Guion Bluford, Ed Dwight, and Charles Bolden, among others.

From the challenges faced by African American astronauts in the early days of NASA to the echoes of civil unrest reaching the International Space Station in 2020, “The Space Race” tells a powerful tale of resilience and determination. The film transforms Afrofuturism dreams into reality, turning science fiction into science fact and forever redefining what “the right stuff” looks like, giving us new heroes to celebrate and a fresh history to explore.

Dates and Locations:

  • University of Maryland Eastern Shore’s Student Services Center (SSC) Theater on Tuesday, February 13
  • Eastern Shore Community College’s Great Hall on Thursday, February 15

Doors at both venues open at 6 PM for refreshments and networking with aerospace representatives from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility, Rocket Lab, SAIC, Virginia Spaceport Authority, and industry leaders. The film starts at 7 PM, followed by a 91-minute runtime. Gain insights into missions, uncover exciting local STEM career prospects, and explore pathways for involvement in shaping the future of the next STEM generation. Virtual screenings are also available for those unable to attend the in-person screenings.

Don’t miss this celebration of diversity, equity, and inclusion in space exploration. Register now and honor the remarkable stories that shape the future of STEM. Register for the free screenings at

For media inquiries, contact:
Kim Check

About Virginia Space Flight Academy (VASFA):
Virginia Space Flight Academy is a non-profit organization that aims to expand access to innovative learning experiences, career pathways, and mentorship to create opportunities and increase interest in STEM careers.

About University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES):
UMES is a public Historically Black University dedicated to diversity, serving first-generation and underrepresented students with transformative educational opportunities.

About Eastern Shore Community College (ESCC):
Eastern Shore Community College enhances lives and communities by empowering students through academic, career training, and personal enrichment opportunities.

African American astronaut wearing a hat and sunglasses

Astronaut Ronald E. McNair, 41-B mission specialist, doubles as “director” for a movie being “produced” aboard the Earth-orbiting Space Shuttle Challenger in February 1984. McNairís name tag (“Cecil B. McNair”), beret and slate are all humorous props for application of a serious piece of cargo on this eight day flight – the Cinema 360 camera. Two of the cameras were carried aboard the Challenger to provide a test for motion picture photography in a unique format designed especially for planetarium viewing. This camera was located in the crew cabin area and a second was stowed in a getaway special (GAS) canister in the payload bay. (credit: NASA)

black an white photo of an African American pilot