Ronald McNair was an American physicist and NASA astronaut.
In 1978, McNair was selected as one of thirty-five applicants from a pool of ten thousand for the NASA astronaut program. He flew on STS-41-B aboard Challenger from 3–11 February 1984, as a mission specialist becoming the second African American and the first Bahá'í to fly in space.
Following this mission, McNair was selected for STS-51-L, which launched on 28 January 1986, and was subsequently killed when Challenger disintegrated nine miles above the Atlantic Ocean just 73 seconds after liftoff.
Before his last fateful space mission he had worked with the composer Jean Michel Jarre on a piece of music for Jarre's then-upcoming album Rendez-Vous. It was intended that he would record his saxophone solo on board the Challenger, which would have made McNair's solo the first original piece of music to have been recorded in space
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