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On January 28, 1986, NASA Challenger mission STS-51-L ended in tragedy when the shuttle exploded 73 seconds after takeoff.  On board was physicist Ronald E. McNair, who was the second African-American to enter space.

In this animated short, his brother Carl narrates several moments in the young Ron McNair’s life that shaped him into the talented scientist he grew up to be.  The clip, entitled “Eyes on the Stars,”  was created in conjunction with StoryCorps.

“When he was 9 years old Ron took a walk downtown to the public library,” his brother recalled. “It was a public library, but not a so public for Black folk in 1959.”

Watch the clip to find out how young Ronald broke the rules.

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Astronaut Ron McNair Remembered In Animated Short [VIDEO]  was originally published on