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Up, Up and Away

Resupplying the International Space Station is the job of the newest Cygnus spacecraft, named for Maj. Robert Lawrence Jr. ’56, the first African American astronaut. The 13th such craft, the S.S. Robert H. Lawrence, successfully launched Feb. 15 after two earlier attempts were scrubbed by technical issues and wind conditions. The new spacecraft supports Lawrence’s legacy, according to a statement from the Mund-Lagowski Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.  

“We also celebrate that he was a chemistry major — how often does one hear about a spacecraft named after a chemist?” asked Dean Campbell, professor of chemistry.

Northrop Grumman, maker of the vessel, names them after significant people in the history of spaceflight. 

MAJOR ROBERT LAWRENCE JR. ’56

  Lawrence accumulated more than 2,500 hours of flight time as an Air Force pilot

•  Earned a doctorate in physical chemistry at The Ohio State University  

•  Graduated from high school at 16 and earned his Bradley degree at age 20

•  Died when his F-104 Starfighter crashed in December 1967, while he was instructing another pilot

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