Skip to comments.Ten Years Later: The Impact of The Tragic Columbia Space Shuttle Photo
Posted on 02/04/2013 11:34:30 AM PST by a fool in paradise
Two days ago marked the 10th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster, in which 7 astronauts lost their lives during reentry as the rest of us watched horror-struck from the ground. The following day, newspapers the world over were announcing the tragic news, all of them using the same photo taken, not by a prolific AP photographer, but a cardiologist and his 6.3MP Canon D60.
At the time, Dr. Scott Lieberman had to order the camera special from Canada (as he couldn’t find one in the US), paying the hefty sum of $2,200. In an interesting article on Poynter, Lieberman discusses that fateful picture and the freelance photography career it has led to.
The photo, however, seems to have had a much broader impact than just launching Lieberman’s freelance career:
When Liebermans Columbia image ran on the cover of Time, the photojournalism establishment still regarded digital photography with a slightly wary eye … Irby says Liebermans photograph did ‘contribute to the strong validation in the potential and power of digital photography for real time news coverage.’
In addition to validating digital photography as a newsworthy medium, the fact that Lieberman spends the majority of his working hours at his interventional cardiology practice also had an impact. The photo is one of a few that marks the beginning of citizen photojournalism. Sadly, many believe those photos also mark the end of many a professional photojournalist’s career.
To get the full story behind this and the hundreds of AP photos Lieberman has taken since, check out the full article on Poynter.
Texas doctor who captured iconic image of Columbia disaster is now a working photographer [Poynter via The Verge]
Image credits: Photo courtesy of Newseum
Ugly but true. They had no way in the world to repair the damage they KNEW existed but could only silently hope and pray that the crew could beat the odds.
Remember, he was in the same training group as the Pampers Lady, if I'm not mistaken.
I wonder if part of the problem at NASA may be that not all of the useful data and technical folks are gone YET.
Technology has changed dramatically over the years, and if you’re stuck with a bunch of 70-year-old engineers who rightfully hold their own intelligence in very high regard, it might be difficult to persuade them that you don’t have to build a rocket engine as a finely-crafted work of art anymore thanks to technology and materials advancement.
It’s not that incredible.
I saw Columbia’s remnants from a parking lot in North Austin (TX) on the way to a funeral for a guy who collected NASA memorabilia.
He actually had a blow-up shuttle at the grave site. 8o
The only solace I find in that is the crew died instantly. Not so for Challenger’s crew.
This doesn't make sense since they would undoubtedly have tried to get some better pictures which would have been taken by the astronauts themselves. Also the space shuttle could have stayed in orbit while they dispatched another shuttle or rocket with some repair materials. Or, if they were running out of supplies, they could have transferred the crew to the International Space Station.
The problem was that NASA talked themselves out of the need to investigate the potential damage more thoroughly.
The coincidence itself might not be incredible to you, but I can say with absolute certainty that both explosions were incredible to behold. I’d rather not have those images burned into memory.
I completely understand.
I saw Challenger on TV and that was plenty.
...sure have lost a lot since : (
At that time I worked for a couple different aerospace mfg. firms, got to go to the Downey(?)facility where they had the mock-up shuttle, exhibits, etc. Remember receiving a letter from one of those firms I worked for, apparently one of our divisions manufactured the o-rings for the SRB.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.