Winston Scott’s journey to the stars as a NASA astronaut is a testament to the power of perseverance and vision. Raised in Miami, Scott’s largely segregated education provided little access to resources, but his own determination combined with the dedication of his teachers set him on an inspiring path of achievement. Recently retired from NASA, Scott’s work in space is now regarded as a case study in leadership and expert communication, qualities most clearly exhibited in the much-publicized manual capture of the Spartan satellite in the 1997 Columbia mission.
Scott’s book, Reflections From Earth Orbit, is not your typical “how do you go to the bathroom in space” book. Rather, it is a book about life as told through the reflections of Scott, prompted by events that occurred during his two space missions as a NASA astronaut aboard the space shuttles Endeavor and Columbia. Reflections is Scott’s way of sharing some of the experiences that drove him to overcome his life’s obstacles and become one of the select few who journeyed into outer space.
At the lecture podium, Scott amazes audiences with breathtaking actual footage from space as he takes them on a journey to places few people will ever see. He also draws on his NASA experience to offer a unique perspective into multinational team building and the essence of leadership. From numerous spacewalks and satellite retrievals to groundbreaking experiments for the International Space Station, he has helmed teams of astronauts and technicians as they pushed the boundaries of scientific knowledge in some of the most strenuous conditions known to man. The knowledge and insight that Scott gained from his work provide an indispensable resource for any organization or individual performing under pressure.
In 1992, Winston Scott began an accomplished career as an astronaut with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. He served as a mission specialist on the STS-72 Endeavour mission in 1996 and the STS-87 Columbia mission in 1997. The Endeavour flight was a nine-day groundbreaking excursion in which the crew retrieved the Space Flyer Unit satellite, deployed and retrieved the OAST-Flyer satellite, and conducted two spacewalks to demonstrate and evaluate techniques to be used in the assembly of the International Space Station. During this breakthrough mission, Scott logged more than 214 hours in space. In 1997, he followed up with the STS-87 Columbia flight, which featured the difficult manual capture of a Spartan satellite, in addition to the testing of tools and procedures for future space station assembly.
Before joining NASA, Scott earned a distinguished record of service as a Captain in the United States Navy. He served as the Director of the Product Support (Engineering) Department, Aerospace Engineering Duty Officer, and Production Test Pilot. Throughout his career as a Naval Aviator, Scott accumulated more than 5,000 hours of flight time in over twenty different military and civilian aircraft, and more than 200 shipboard landings. He was also an associate instructor of electrical engineering at Florida A&M University and Florida Community College at Jacksonville.
Scott graduated from Coral Gables High School and received a B.A. in music from Florida State University. He went on to earn an M.S. in aeronautical engineering from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School. He is currently Vice President and Deputy General Manager of the Engineering and Science Contract Group (ESCG) for Jacobs Engineering, one of the largest engineering contractors in the world. Scott belongs to several organizations including the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the National Naval Officers Association and the Alpha Phi Alpha and Phi Mu Alpha Fraternities.
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