Tyler Doctor Captures History in the Making

A Tyler man with a passion for space flight and a talent for photography is now seeing his name and pictures across the globe.

When Dr. Scott Lieberman woke up Saturday morning, he was hoping to capture space shuttle Columbia re-entering our atmosphere. Instead, he captured a glimpse of history.

"Looking through the lens, the shuttle itself was so bright," he remembers. "I saw what appeared to be faint parallel, contrails, but I didn't think anything of it."

But when the world learned the shuttle was gone, Dr. Lieberman's snapshots placed him in the international spotlight. The Tyler cardiologist and self-professed space buff delivered eight photographs, showing the shuttle breaking apart, to the Tyler Morning Telegraph. When the Associated Press picked up on the photos, Lieberman's images ended up in newspapers worldwide. The TV program "Inside Edition" even interviewed Lieberman and wife, Robyn, for their Monday night program.

The attention has taken the low-key family by surprise. Robyn Lieberman and son Mason were in the backyard when the shuttle came over. Robyn recorded the shuttle's break up on a home video camera.

"He's excited his picture has gone all over," says Robyn. "Its hard not to be, but its humbling, because it's not something he wanted to capture and that part of it has been hard."

Daughter Deandra says if anyone was meant to be there that day, it was her dad, because he's always paying attention to what happens with NASA.

"For me its almost cathartic to sort of help in the process of dealing with this tragedy," says Lieberman. "When you feel terrible about something, if you can show everybody else why you feel so bad and what happened -- I think it helps everybody go through the process."

   Kerri Panchuk, reporting.