Former NASA astronaut continues to inspire others to explore space

Captain Winston Scott is a former NASA astronaut and retired Navy Captain who now works as a Senior Advisor to the President Office of External Relations and Economic Development at the Florida Institute of Technology. He's traveled to space twice and has completed three spacewalks within his 27 years of Navy and NASA service.

FOX 35's Sydney Cameron spoke to Captain Scott, who gave details on his biggest accomplishments and how he got to where he is now.

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After graduating from Florida State University, Scott joined the Navy at 23-years-old. He was the only African-American in his Navy Flight Training Class who earned his wings in 1974. He went on to become the only black pilot in his squadron, where he flew F-14 Tomcats.


Winston Scott suiedt up for extravehicular activity (EVA) 2, the second EVA of STS-72 mission. (NASA)

"I didn’t tell my parents I was going into flight training. I almost expected that I would maybe be weeded out and be sent home. I didn’t know how fair the process would be," Captain Scott told FOX 35 News. "I was at the point in my career where the next big challenge would be to fly in space."

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Winston Scott checks the Space Tissue Loss/National Institutes of Health-Cells (STL/NIH-C) middeck locker experiment. (NASA)

Captain Scott wanted to fly higher, so he applied for the Space Program. In 1992, he became the only minority in his astronaut class at Johnson Space Center in Houston. Four years later, he boarded the Endeavour in an orange spacesuit and blasted in space. 

"Being in space is life-changing," he said. He logged 24 days in space and 19 hours in spacewalks during his seven years as an astronaut.


Winston Scott floats in middeck and displays his floating crew notebook in the shuttle orbiter Endeavour. (NASA)

Now, Captain Scott spends his time at Florida Tech as a Senior Advisor to the President. He regularly talks to students about his career, inspiring them to go after their dreams. He also flies every chance he gets and plays the trumpet while on land.

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He advises others that "you’re talented. You’ve got all the tools you need to raise as you want to go. So believe in yourself and rise as high as you want to go."

Tune in to Good Day Orlando on FOX 35 News all week for coverage on Black History Month in Central Florida.