CAPE CANAVERAL – While people may often listen to the NASA story, they rarely pay attention to the men and women that tell it. Reporters, journalists and NewMedia all do their part to inform the public about the amazing things that happen on a daily basis at Kennedy Space Center (KSC). Many of these people become repositories of history, walking encyclopedias of little-known facts and anecdotes that are slowing fading from the public consciousness.
NASA/KSC has recently taken a moment to interview the interviewers and to hear their words as the shuttle program comes to a close – the space agency has produced a video to record their comments for posterity. Here are some of the journalists that share their experiences in this video:
Some of these reporters’ careers stretch back several decades covering the space program. Few however can compare to the resume of one Jay Barbree. The veteran NBC correspondent has covered the space program since the late 1950s, has written several novels and has appeared in a number of space documentaries.
With a wry smile and a quick sense of what makes a story relevant, Todd Halvorson has covered the space program for over two decades. Within NASA’s production he describes what it was like when Challenger exploded – from the mouth of a child.
While many journalists can tout impressive resumes, few can say that when the first space shuttle mission, STS-1, was being prepped for flight that they actually sat in Commander John Young’s lap during one of the simulations. Craig Covault – can make that claim. Young wanted him to see something, which unfortunately could only be seen from where Young was sitting.
William Harwood co-penned the book Comm Check… The Final Flight of Shuttle Columbia with then-journalist, now NASA spokesman Michael Cabbage. He has covered America’s space program for close to 20 years.
Rounding out the video’s cast is STS-1 pilot Robert Crippen who would go on to fly four missions aboard the space shuttles before eventually becoming Kennedy Space Center’s Director. This video provides a glimpse behind the camera; it provides the opportunity to hear the perspectives of the storytellers themselves.