NASA Salutes Aviation and Space Excellence | Summary and Q&A

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February 5, 2020
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NASA
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NASA Salutes Aviation and Space Excellence

TL;DR

Distinguished trailblazers, Brigadier General Charles McGee and Colonel Alvin Drew, share their inspiring stories of perseverance, courage, and achievement in the field of aviation.

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Questions & Answers

Q: What challenges did Brigadier General Charles McGee face as a pilot during World War II, Korea, and Vietnam?

As an African American pilot, McGee faced racial discrimination and had to overcome barriers to receive equal treatment and opportunities. He persevered through these challenges and successfully completed 409 air combat missions.

Q: How did Alvin Drew's experience as an astronaut influence his views on diversity and inclusion?

Drew believes that diverse perspectives and problem-solving methods are crucial in aviation and aerospace innovation. He emphasizes the importance of collaborative inclusive innovation and highlights the role of diversity in achieving the vision of landing the first woman and next man on the moon.

Q: How did the Tuskegee Airmen contribute to the integration of the armed forces?

The Tuskegee Airmen proved their capability and valor in combat, challenging racial stereotypes and discrimination. Their accomplishments paved the way for the integration of the armed forces, as President Truman recognized their contributions and issued an executive order to eliminate segregation.

Q: What message does General McGee have for younger generations?

General McGee encourages younger generations to embrace mentorship and guide the next generation. He believes in the power of education, seizing opportunities, and inspiring others to dream big and overcome obstacles.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • NASA Deputy Associate Administrator, Melanie Saunders, introduces trailblazers Charles McGee and Alvin Drew, emphasizing the importance of reflecting on the past to prepare for a successful future.

  • McGee, a Tuskegee Airmen and honorary brigadier general, shares his journey as a pilot in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam, highlighting the challenges and triumphs of breaking barriers.

  • Drew, an astronaut and former Air Force officer, discusses his path to becoming an astronaut, emphasizing the significance of diversity and inclusivity in driving innovation and solving complex challenges.

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