Victor Glover made history on Sunday when he boarded a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule named Resilience and rocketed up to the International Space Station, becoming the first Black astronaut to serve as a crew member at the station. 

According to The New York Times, Glover will spend about six months at the station and will eventually be followed next year by decorated astronaut Jeanette Epps, who will become the first Black woman to stay at the International Space Station. 

The father of four has spent decades training for the opportunity to live on the space station, getting master's degrees in flight test engineering, systems engineering and military operational art and science before joining the astronaut corps in 2013.

The California native is a Navy commander and has spent years as a test pilot eager for the chance to spend extended time on the International Space Station. He will not be the first Black person to visit the station, but he will be the first to live there.

Glover spoke about how he first found out he would be joining the astronaut program while working for the late Senator John McCain

Just 14 of the more than 300 NASA astronauts sent to space have been Black, despite Black scientists playing pivotal roles in the process of getting people into space throughout NASA's entire history. In June, NASA renamed its Washington D.C. headquarters after Mary W. Jackson, a Black woman who was integral in getting American astronauts into space. 

Air Force test pilot Ed Dwight was the first Black American to be involved in the astronaut program in the 1960s, but he never made it to space. It wasn't until 1983 that a Black American was sent to space when Guion S. Bluford Jr. joined the Challenger space shuttle. In 1992, Mae Jemison became the first Black woman to make it to space, according to The New York Times.

This summer, Glover spoke about his role as a Black astronaut and refused to stay quiet about the protests over the killing of George Floyd

He has also worked with other Black astronauts to help increase the diversity in the astronaut program.

During a press conference on Monday, Glover spoke at length about being the first Black astronaut to live on the space station.

“It is something to be celebrated once we accomplish it, and I am honored to be in this position and to be a part of this great and experienced crew. And I look forward to getting up there and doing my best to make sure, you know, we are worthy of all the work that’s been put into setting us up for this mission," he said.

"You know, unlike the election — that is in the past or receding in the past — this mission is still ahead of me. So, let’s get there, and I’ll talk to you after I get on board.”

NASA courted controversy in 2018 when they pulled Epps off of a flight to the space station that would have made her the first Black crew member to live there, according to The Washington Post. Her brother, Henry Epps, slammed the decision to remove her in a now-deleted Facebook post. 

“My sister Dr. Jeannette Epps has been fighting against oppressive racism and misogynist in NASA and now they are holding her back and allowing a Caucasian Astronaut to take her place,” Henry wrote on Facebook.

At the time both Epps and NASA declined to comment, and she was replaced by Serena Auñón-Chancellor, who became the first Hispanic woman to live on the space station. 

It is unclear why Glover is being sent up ahead of Epps, but The New York Times said she will get her chance next year. 

NASA announced in August that Epps will be part of the first operational crewed flight of Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft on a mission to the International Space Station.