Have you ever wondered what it would be like to find yourself strapped to a giant rocket that’s about to go from zero to 17,500 miles per hour?
Or to look back on Earth from outer space and see the surprisingly precise line between day and night? Or to stand in front of the Hubble Space Telescope, wondering if the emergency repair you’re about to make will inadvertently ruin humankind’s chance to unlock the universe’s secrets? Mike Massimino has been there, and in Spaceman he puts you inside the suit, with all the zip and buoyancy of life in microgravity.
Massimino’s childhood space dreams were born the day Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon. Growing up in a working-class Long Island family, he catapulted himself to Columbia and then MIT, only to flunk his first doctoral exam and be rejected three times by NASA before making it through the final round of astronaut selection.
Taking us through the surreal wonder and beauty of his first spacewalk, the tragedy of losing friends in the Columbia shuttle accident, and the development of his enduring love for the Hubble Telescope—which he and his fellow astronauts were tasked with saving on his final mission—Massimino has written an ode to never giving up and the power of teamwork to make anything possible.
Spaceman invites us into a rare, wonderful world where science meets the most thrilling adventure, revealing just what having “the right stuff” really means.
About the Author
Mike Massimino served as a NASA Astronaut from 1996 until 2014 and flew in space twice: STS-109 on space shuttle Columbia in March 2002 and STS-125 on space shuttle Atlantis in May 2009 – the final two Hubble Space Telescope servicing missions. Mike became the first human to tweet from space, was the last human to work inside of Hubble, and set a team record with his crewmates for the most cumulative spacewalking time in a single space shuttle mission.
Mike has a recurring role as himself on The Big Bang Theory; appears regularly on late night talk shows, news programs, and documentaries; and is a much sought after inspirational speaker. He received his BS from the Columbia University School of Engineering, and his two MS’s and Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He currently lives in New York City where he is an engineering professor at Columbia and an advisor at the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum.
“Every generation of astronauts needs a storyteller -- a person with wit, humor, and passion who has lived our collective dreams of space exploration and returned to tell us all about it. Mike Massimino is that person. He's that astronaut. And this is his story.”—Neil deGrasse Tyson
“Mike Massimino writes about space with an astronaut's eye and an engineer's precision. You'll be impressed with his journey and his perspective on where a well-developed space program can take us in the future.”—Senator John Glenn
“Inspired by moonwalkers, Mike grew up, became an astronaut, and fixed the Hubble Space Telescope, all while remaining some kinda’ humble. You can’t help but follow him from Long Island to the bottom of the spacewalk practice pool, then 350 miles up and back. He’s a spaceman through and through; he tells how hard work can take you out of this world.”—Bill Nye, the Science Guy, CEO of the Planetary Society
“Massimino's incredible journeys, filled with grit, courage, suspense and thrills, are told with such candor and delight, that for a brief moment I felt I’d finally made it to space too. Read this book and be inspired to reach for the impossible.” —Brian Greene, Columbia University, author of The Fabric of the Cosmos
"An engaging and uplifting memoir that's sure to give readers a deeper appreciation for the U.S. space program and inspire some future astronauts." —Publishers Weekly