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The final launch of Atlantis on July 8 will mark the end of the American space era, where six of these unique spacecrafts flew 135 missions. Of those missions, 20 African-Americans earned the title “Astronaut,” and 13 actually went to space.

The Root honors these distinct men and women in a biographical gallery.

See The Gallery At TheRoot.com


Astronauts Board Shuttle Discovery For Last Flight