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Astronaut Winston Scott: Musician in Outer Space

Astronaut Winston Scott:  Musician in Outer Space

Introduction to Winston Scott.  1:06 min.  Interview:  Raymond Elman.   Video Editing & Production:  Sergio Meso.  Recorded:  2/21/2020, Loew’s Miami Beach.

 

WINSTON SCOTT (b. 1950) is a former NASA astronaut and retired U.S. Navy captain. Scott entered Naval Aviation Officer Candidate School after graduating from Florida State University in December 1972. Two years later, he was designated a Naval Aviator. Scott served as a production test pilot flying the F/A-18 Hornet and the A-7 Corsair aircraft. He has accumulated more than 7,000 hours of flight time in 25 different military and civilian aircraft, and more than 200 shipboard landings.

Scott was selected by NASA and reported to the Johnson Space Center in 1992. He logged 24 days, 14 hours, and 34 minutes as a mission specialist in space during his two missions STS-72 Endeavour and STS-87 Columbia. Scott performed three spacewalks totaling 19 hours and 26 minutes.

STS-72 Endeavour launched January 11, 1996 and retrieved two satellites while in orbit. Scott completed his first spacewalk, or EVA, lasting 6 hours and 53 minutes. His goal was to evaluate techniques utilized in the assembly of the International Space Station.

STS-87 Columbia was Scott’s longest mission and the fourth U.S. Microgravity Payload flight. They launched November 19, 1997, and conducted several experiments such as the effects of zero gravity on physical functions of the human body. He performed two more spacewalks on this mission which included manually capturing the Spartan satellite and testing EVA tools and procedures.

Scott grew up in Miami, Florida and is an excellent trumpet player.  As a teenager, he sat in with several major bands and performed at the Hampton House in Brownsville.  See our Inspicio story about the Historic Hampton House.

Winston Scott graduated from Florida State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Music.   He eared a Master of Science Degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the U.S. Naval Post Graduate School in Monterey, CA.  He also began martial arts training while on active duty in the U.S. Navy, and eventually received a second-degree black belt in Shotokan karate. In July 2005, Scott the authored the book, “Reflections From Earth Orbit.” Today, Scott still plays trumpet and performs with the Winston Scott Cosmic Jazz Ensemble. Scott is Senior VP for External Relations and Economic Development at Florida Institute of Technology (FIT) and directs a faculty band at FIT called “TWITCHY,” after the initials of all band members.

 

The videos below are organized by topic and run between 20 seconds and 3 minutes. Click on any video. You must be connected to the Internet to view the videos.

 

 

STRONG DRIVE FOR ACHIEVEMENT: 1:24 min.

Growing up in Miami, what was your first awareness of art of any discipline?

 

EXPOSURE TO BROAD INFLUENCES:   0:27 sec.

As a teenage musician, were you aware of the Hampton House in Brownsville?

 

EXPOSURE TO BROAD INFLUENCES 1:21 min.

Given that many of the most important people in African-American history stayed or played at the Hampton House, did you encounter any major celebrities when you were there?

 

SELF-CONFIDENCE:  2:54 min.

What was the arc of your career from Miami to outer space?

 

CREATIVE FLEXIBILITY:  0:28 sec.

Did being a musician help you understand advanced math?

 

COLLABORATION:  1:17 min.

Tell us about your collaboration with the New World Symphony.

 

INSIGHT & INSPIRATION: 2:21 min.

Given your strong creative nature, how did being out of this world impact you? And how did your aesthetic experience of space differ from your teammates?

 

SERENDIPITY:   0:40 sec.

When you are in space, the more distant objects appear to move slowly. Do you ever have things whizzing by you?

 

SERENDIPITY:  0:58 sec.

It always amazes me that space vehicles aren’t bombarded by small bits of space debris.

 

INSIGHT & INSPIRATION:  0:57 sec.

Music is probably the most abstract art discipline. You described to us how space looked to you. Did the experience of space impact you in other aesthetic ways?

 

CRITICAL THINKING:  1:03 min.

Which books about space resonated with you the most?

 

RESPECTS OTHERS POINTS OF VIEW:  1:05 min.

What music did you listen to in space?

 

INSIGHT & INSPIRATION:  0:45 sec.

How long were you up in space?

 

UNDERSTANDS THE AUDIENCE PERSPECTIVE:  1:07 min.

Is there music that reminds you of space?

 

PERSEVERANCE FURTHERS:  0:35 sec.

What instrument did you play?

 

VALUES FIRST-RATE EDUCATION:  0:38 sec.

It sounds like your post-military life is very full.