In August 1979, Bluford joined NASA. He has worked on several assignments regarding the Space Station, Spacelab and Space Shuttle systems, the Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory (SAIL) and the Flight Systems Laboratory (FSL). He served as a crew member and mission specialist on four NASA missions:
On August 30, 1983, the STS-8 mission was launched from Kennedy Space Center. It was the first mission with night launch and landing, and it was also the first mission for Bluford. During the STS-8, several medical experiments were conducted regarding the effect of space flight on the human body. The mission lasted 145 hours and during this time the shuttle Challenger completed 98 orbits around the Earth.
On October 30, 1985, STS-61-A launched from Kennedy Space Center aboard Challenger. Eight members of the crew, along with Bluford performed 76 experiments in Spacelab. The mission lasted 169 hours and completed 111 orbits.
In April 28, 1991, Bluford participated in the STS-39 mission, launched from Kennedy Space Center aboard Discovery. The mission lasted 199 hours and completed 134 orbits.
On December 2, 1992, STS-53 launched from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida aboard Discovery. The mission lasted 175 hours and completed 115 orbits. This was the fourth and last mission Bluford participated in.
Image: Guion Bluford in the aft flight deck photographing the Earth during the STS-053 mission. The photo was taken on December 9, 1992.