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Bernard Harris Jr. Walked in Space Before Elon Musk Ruled Skies

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Tesla ( (TSLA) - Get Tesla Inc. Report) remains hot following Monday's news that it had purchased $1.5 billion in Bitcoin. Elon Musk, the revolutionary founder of Tesla, knows how to generate our imagination.

Musk has done this repeatedly when it comes to Space.  The Entrepreneur launched Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) in 2002.  Among other things, the goal has been focused on reducing space travel costs and colonization of Mars.

But long before there was Elon Musk, there was another trailblazer inspiring others to think about what the future could be in space.

TDIH: Bernard Harris Jr. Milestone In Space

On February 9, 1995, Bernard Harris Jr became the first African American to walk in space. It happened during his second mission aboard Shuttle Discovery.

Born in 1956, Harris began his historic rise at NASA. After leaving NASA, he led companies with scientific and educational missions

Harris is now the CEO of Vesalius Ventures, a venture capital firm.  Here is a snapshot from his bio on the company's website:

"He has had over twenty years of business experience, in various leadership roles as CEO, president, SVP, and CMO of some of the leading companies and organizations in the nation. He is a member of the Board of Directors for U.S. Physical Therapy (NASDAQ:  (USPH) - Get U.S. Physical Therapy Inc. Report), Sterling Bancshares (NASDAQ:  (SBIB) ), E-Cardio, RMD Networks, Monebo Technologies, American Institute Minimally Invasive Surgery (AIMIS), and the Space Agency. In addition, Dr. Harris serves as a Director of a number of investment funds, including The Endowment Fund, Salient Absolute Return Fund, Salient MLP & Energy Infrastructure Fund, Salient Midstream & MLP Fund, and Salient MF Trust, with over $18 billion in assets under management ( (AUM) ); and Board of Trustees of Babson Capital Global Short Duration High Yield Fund and Babson Capital Funds Trust with over $600m AUM."

Dr. Harris, a scientist, surgeon, astronaut, entrepreneur, and leader inspires and motivates us all.

TheStreet's video series: Black History, Wall Street & Beyond

TheStreet is taking this month to amplify voices from the African-American community that sometimes fall through the cracks. Watch more video milestones in the video playlist below:

TheStreet's Tony Owusu speaks with CEOs running minority-owned private equity firms to better understand How to Break Diversity Barriers on Wall Street. Plus, TheStreet's Anuz Thapa has a series of interviews focusing on the next generation of leaders on and off Wall Street. Watch the videos below:

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