The man who would’ve been America’s first Black astronaut is finally getting the chance to head to space.

In 1961, when the White House was under the administration of President John F. Kennedy, Ed Dwight was selected as the first Black American to train and travel to space, according to Business Insider. Despite accepting the invitation to join NASA’s training program, he never had the chance to make it to outer space since they chose someone else instead. Now, through Blue Origin, an aerospace manufacturer founded by Jeff Bezos with the mission to provide a way for people to live and work in space in the future, the 90-year-old will live out an experience he thought would never happen.

On April 4, the organization announced that the Kansas native will be a part of its six-member crew that will be on the company’s 25th mission to space on the New Shepard rocket. Although a launch date hasn’t been set, Dwight will be joining Mason Angel, (founder of Industrious Ventures VC firm), Sylvain Chiron (founder of Brasserie Mont Blanc brewing company), Kenneth Hess (a software engineer pioneer), Carol Schaller (a retired CPA) and pilot Gopi Thotakura.

The retired Air Force pilot was born in the early 1930s, during the great depression era when racism and segregation were at an all-time high in America. Sometime after joining the Air Force, he was the only Black officer eligible to be an astronaut. When the opportunity presented itself in his late 20s, he didn’t immediately jump to take it.

“They told me, ‘They will make hamburger out of you, Dwight,'” he said while recalling what a superior officer told him about accepting the training program, reported Business Insider.

Dwight remained in the Air Force until he resigned. Following his resignation, he earned his MFA in Sculpture from the University of Denver and went on to start a new career as a sculptor, according to PBS. Dwight’s candidacy as the first potential Black astronaut had fallen under the radar of the general public until National Geographic released a documentary in 2023, “The Space Race,” which highlighted groundbreaking Black astronauts in American History.

“I don’t think America — or anybody — knows how complex the situation was,” he said in the feature film, according to Business Insider.

Will you be tuned in when the New Shepard rocket launches into space?