Jamaican-American astronaut Christopher Huie shares his triumphant story after becoming the 19th black astronaut in the world set to traverse beyond the stratosphere. The Virgin Galactic astronaut points to his Jamaican mother’s determination and many sacrifices as the main inspiration for his historic feat.
Having grown up in Florida, Huie is a reflection of the dreams instilled in him by his mother, who moved from Jamaica in search of better opportunities for her family. Being the son of a single immigrant mother who migrated from Hanover to Chicago at the age of 17 before settling in Florida, Huie acknowledges the sacrifices his mother made for him to embark on his dreams and aspirations.
Huie, 35, before his space mission, opened up about his past. He revealed that his childhood love of LEGO and space was instrumental in his career path. Huie graduated with a degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Maryland and worked in the private sector before joining Virgin Galactic in 2016 as an engineer in charge of loads and simulations.
He also had a Jamaican and American flag on his spacesuit in his final assessment aboard Unity 25, showing his love for his roots as he prepared for his historic flight with his three other crew members.
Amidst the excitement as Huie affectionately called ‘Chuie’, embarked on his first exploration trip beyond Earth, he carried with him not only the dreams of a child who loved spaceships and wanted to be a pilot but also the hopes and aspirations of countless immigrants around the globe searching for a better life and opportunities in a foreign land.
According to Huie, he stands as an inspiration in the realms of space exploration and immigrants, as his story leading to him fulfilling his childhood fantasy had been filled with sacrifice, perseverance, unpredictableness, and of course success in the latter stages.