BERNARD ANTHONY HARRIS JR. is a former NASA astronaut. On February 9, 1995, Harris became the first African American to perform an extra-vehicular activity(spacewalk), during the second of his two Space Shuttle flights. Harris graduated from Sam Houston High School, also from San Antonio, Texas, in 1974, where he was actively involved in science fairs, book clubs and other school activities. He received a B.S. degree in biology from University of Houston in 1978. He earned his MD degree from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine in 1982. Harris completed a National Research Council Fellowship at NASA’s Ame Research Center in 1987. While at Ame, he conducted research in musculature physiology and disuse.

He also trained as a flight surgeon at the Aerospace School of Medicine at Brooks Air Force Base in San Antonio in 1988. Dr. Harris received a master’s degree in biomedical science from The University of Texas Medical Branch in 1996. Harris is also a licensed private pilot and certified scuba driver.

After completing his fellowship at NASA Ame’s, he joined NASA’s Johnson Space Center as a clinical scientist and flight surgeon. He was the first African American man to go in space as one of NASA’s research teams and he was involved in the construction of the space rovers.