McNair, Ph.D. (October 21, 1950 – January 28, 1986) was an African American physicist and NASA astronaut. McNair perished during the launch of the Space Shuttle Challenger on mission STS-51-L.
3 Public honors
4 See also
6 External links
A native of Lake City, South Carolina, McNair received a B.S. in Physics from North Carolina A&T State University in 1971, and a Ph.D. in the same from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1977. He was also honored with honorary degrees in 1978, 1980 and 1984.
He was a fifth-degree black belt karate instructor and had won five regional championships. Among many other studies in the field, McNair had conducted research on the scientific foundations of the martial arts. He was also a member of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity.
McNair was a member of the Baha'i Faith.
After graduation from MIT, he became a staff physicist at the Hughes Research Lab in Malibu, California.During the 1970s, NASA recruited minority candidates for their space program. McNair was chosen for the program in 1978, and flew on a Challenger mission in February 1984 as a mission specialist. McNair was a saxophonist, and before the mission he worked with composer Jean Michel Jarre on a piece of music. It was intended that he would record his saxophone solo on board the Challenger, making it the first piece of music played in space. However, the flight ended in disaster after two Solid Rocket Boosters (SRBs), broke apart 73 seconds into its flight leading to the deaths of its entire crew. Subsequently, the piece was renamed Ron's Piece.
 Public honors
Dr. Ronald E. McNair memorial in his hometown, Lake City, South Carolina
Ronald McNair Park in Brooklyn, New YorkA variety of public places and people have been renamed in honor of McNair.
The crater McNair on the Moon is named in his honor.
Watson Chapel Jr. High was renamed the R. McNair Jr. High School in his honor.
Ronald McNair Boulevard in Lake City, South Carolina is named in his honor and lies near other streets named for astronauts who perished in the Challenger crash.
The U.S. Department of Education offers the Ronald E. McNair Post-baccalaureate Achievement Program for disadvantaged students.
In Florence, South Carolina, there is a Ronald McNair Math and Science Center at the Francis Marion University.
Several K-12 schools have also been named after McNair.
Ronald E. McNair Middle School in Lake City, South Carolina was renamed from Carver High School in his honor (he was a high school graduate of the facility).
Dr. Ronald Ervin McNair Academic High School in Jersey City, New Jersey
Ronald McNair Elementary School in Germantown, Maryland
Ronald Ervin McNair High School in Atlanta, Georgia
Ronald McNair Middle School in Decatur, Georgia
Ronald McNair Middle School in College Park, Georgia
Ronald McNair Elementary School in University City, Missouri
Ronald Ervin McNair Elementary School in Denton, Texas (Denton ISD)
Ronald McNair Middle School in Rockledge, Florida
Ronald E. McNair Elementary School in Dallas, Texas (Dallas ISD)
Ronald McNair Middle School in East Palo Alto, California
Ronald Ervin McNair High School in Stockton, California
The Ronald McNair School in Cambria Heights, New York
McNair Elementary School in Compton, California.
Dr. Ronald E. McNair Academic High School (MAHS)in Jersey City, NJ.
Dr. Ronald E. McNair tomb in his hometown, Lake City, South CarolinaA building on the Willowridge High School campus in Houston, Texas is named in honor of Dr. McNair.
There is a memorial in the Ronald McNair Park in Brooklyn, New York in his honor. .
The Ronald E. McNair Space Theater inside the Davis Planetarium in downtown Jackson, Mississippi is named in his honor.
The Naval ROTC building on the campus of Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge, Louisiana is named in his honor.
The Engineering building at North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, NC is named in his honor.
The McNair Building at MIT houses the Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research.
The McNair Post-baccalaureate Achievement Program, which operates at 179 campuses in the U.S. (April 7), awards research money and internships to first-generation and otherwise underrepresented students in preparation