Sonja Alexander
Headquarters, Washington, DC
(Phone: 202/358-1761)


NASA for the first time this year will use an established U.S. Air Force agreement to
fund flight training for minority Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC)

NASA’s Office of Safety and Mission Assurance will fund one of two three-week flight
training programs for 18 Air Force cadets who plan to pursue engineering, mathematics
and science majors.

NASA is actively seeking minority astronaut pilot candidates and is tapping into the
success of the Air Force program. Upon successful completion of the training, the cadets
will receive their solo wings, meaning they have met the Federal Aviation Administration’s
solo requirements for flying a single-engine aircraft.

In 1996, the Air Force developed this flight training to introduce Air Force ROTC cadets
to the rudiments of aviation. The program was designed to help the Air Force increase the
number of cadets from Historically Black Colleges/Universities and Minority Serving
Institutions entering aerospace operations.

The contractor for this effort is the Delaware State University (DSU), Dover. DSU has
eight planes for training purposes, making it the only Historically Black College in the
country with its own fleet.