Roundtable held with former NASA astronaut, photojournalists

Jessica Voorhees

Former NASA astronaut Terry Wilcutt, a WKU alumnus, and the family photojournalist team of Scott Andrews and his son Philip Scott Andrews who documented the end of the space shuttle missions spoke at a roundtable discussion Friday afternoon at Mass Media and Technology Hall Auditorium.
“Echoes in Space: The 30-Year Voyage of the Space Shuttle” provided a question and answer session moderated by Joe Corcoran of WKU Public Radio with Wilcutt, Scott and Philip Scott Andrews. There were about 35 people in the audience. Wilcutt spoke about his involvement with the NASA Space Shuttle Program and the Andrews team shared their experience documenting it.
A reception in the atrium of Mass Media preceded the event. Guests viewed the photography and multimedia displays in “Last Days: The End of an Era,” a collection of over 50 photographs and media exhibits by the Andrews team which document the end of the space shuttle missions, a series of space missions by NASA which helped in the construction of the International Space Station.
The showcase debuted Sept. 2 and will be open to the public until Nov. 8.
Terry Wilcutt graduated from WKU in 1974 and proceeded to pilot two space shuttle flights in 1994 and 1996. He became mission commander of an additional two flights in 1998 and 2000.
Scott Andrews became involved in photography of space missions at age 12. He later worked with the media and government as the go-to person to explain technical problems involving space photography.
Andrews continued to photograph space missions including the Space Shuttle Program for 40 years.
Philip Scott Andrews, graduated from WKU in 2010 and went on to collaborate with his father on photographing the end of the space shuttle missions for five years.
“I think we really work well together because he can come up with the technical influence but I can do more of the aesthetical influence on the subject,” Andrews said.
Scott Andrews took tens of thousands of pictures in his years of documenting the space shuttle missions. “Last Days: The End of an Era” features about 50.
Wilcutt said he recognized all the people in the photos as those he had worked with during his time at NASA.
“It was like seeing a close cousin or brother or sister again,” Wilcutt said.
The NASA Space Shuttle Program began in 1981 ended in 2011 with the completion of the International Space Station.
Scott Andrews recalled the experience of seeing the final shuttle launch. For the first time, Scott Andrews watched without looking through his lens.
“I think sometimes we take documentation too far,” Scott Andrews said. “It’s one of those things where sometimes you’re in the moment and it’s never going to happen again.
He said above all he was grateful to be able to partake in documenting the missions.
“I’m just honored to contribute, make a lot of friends, help people and document history,” Scott Andrews said. “It was worth every year.”
Philip Scott Andrews expressed his pleasure to share their work at WKU.
“It was such a big part of me growing up,” he said. “It’s nice to be able to share the photos in this way.”
The School of Journalism & Broadcasting and Gatton Academy sponsored the event.