While astrophysicists trace the past of the Universe, astronauts envisage the future of humanity in space. Until recently, these professions were unofficially reserved for a minority from which women and people of colour were excluded. The integration of a wider diversity of people into these domains has required the exceptional resilience of an unrelenting few motivated by their unlimited fascination with space. Presented in Cosmos Archaeology, these two films re-establish the contribution of two pioneers who were unjustly dismissed by the scientific institutions of their time and almost forgotten in the history of space exploration.
As a child, Edward Dwight was fascinated with the sky he saw from his family’s farm in Kansas City. He became a pilot and was the first African American selected to join NASA’s astronaut training programme. Despite his unwavering commitment and achievements, the NASA administration did not allow him to pursue any space missions. Undaunted, Dwight became an artist, advancing African American representation through his artwork in lieu of his space visits.