Ronald E. McNair (Born on October 21, 1950) was an American physicist and astronaut who was the second African American to fly in space. He had been fascinated by space since childhood, when as early as in elementary school he talked about the Sputnik satellite. McNair was nationally recognized for his work in the field of laser physics, including chemical and high-pressure lasers. In 1978, he was one of 35 applicants selected from a pool of 10,000 for NASA's space shuttle program. He was assigned as a mission specialist on the Feb 1984 flight of the shuttle Challenger, during which he orbited the earth 122 times. Sadly, on his second trip, on the morning of 28 Jan 1986, McNair with six other crew members died in an explosion shortly after launching aboard the Challenger.
Source: TODAYINSCI: https://todayinsci.com/10/10_21.htm