Elected by NASA in January 1990, Dr. Harris became an astronaut in July 1991 and qualified for assignment as a mission specialist on future Space Shuttle flight crews. During his second mission as Payload Commander on STS-63, the first flight of the new joint Russian-American Space Program, Dr. Harris would make his mark in history. On this mission, Dr. Harris logged 198 hours, 29 minutes in space, completed 129 orbits, and traveled over 2.9 million miles.
Dr. Harris has been recognized by many organizations and colleges, including Morehouse College in Atlanta, Ga., which rewarded him an honorary Doctorate. He has also received the NASA Space flight medal, a NASA Award of Merit, a fellow of the American College of Physicians and the 2000 Horatio Alger Award.
The black space pioneer was also honored by a school district in San Antonio with the Bernard A. Harris Middle School in San Antonio, Tx.