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Robert B. Murray

Photographer and Videographer, John F. Kennedy Space Center

Robert B. “Bob” Murray was NASA’s first videographer to provide live, airborne TV coverage of space shuttle launches and landings. For more than 23 years, Murray’s primary aerial imagery was seen on television networks and stations, and in publications worldwide.

Bob’s family moved to Florida from Detroit, Michigan, in 1960 when he was transferred by Chrysler’s Missile Division to work on the Redstone project as an electronics technician.  Murray later worked on the Saturn 1-B project’s command destruct system for launches. Thanks to his military experience with radar, he was loaned to Grumman to assist in the checkout of the lunar lander’s radar system on the Saturn V.

When the failure of Apollo 13 led to a reduction in the local workforce, Bob relied upon his prior news film experience at WXYZ-TV in Detroit (he also was a cameraman for the “Soupy Sales Show”) to land a job as a freelance “stringer” for Channel 6 in Orlando and Channel 13 in Tampa. A year later, Bob went full-time with Channel 6 as a photographer-reporter for Brevard County.

Says Bob, “With my trusty 16 mm Bolex, my beat became all of Brevard and the aerospace operations at Cape Canaveral and Kennedy Space Center. I fondly remember the launch of Telstar, having shot the launch, then rushing the film to Orlando’s Herndon airport. An Eastern Airlines pilot took it to New York where CBS used it on the early morning news. The Third Century America bicentennial exposition was another of many stories and interviews I shot at the space center for CBS News.”

Murray spent more than nine years covering the Space Coast until RCA hired him as their first videographer. When NASA expanded its live television coverage, Murray moved to Kennedy’s Launch Complex 39 Press Site where he devoted the next 23 years of his distinguished career covering aerospace activities.

“It was my privilege to start NASA’s live airborne TV coverage of shuttle launches and landings,” says Bob. “I frequently found myself shooting video while dangling out the door of a helicopter at several thousand feet up.”

Bob Murray retired in October 2002. He resides with his wife, Jill, on Merritt Island, Florida, where he spends most of his leisure time photographing nature.