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Mike Massimino is a former NASA Astronaut, a New York Times bestselling author, a Columbia University engineering professor, and an advisor at The Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum. A veteran of two space shuttle missions and four spacewalks, Mike was the first person to tweet from space, holds the team record for the most spacewalking time on a single space shuttle mission, and successfully completed the most complicated spacewalk ever attempted to repair the Hubble Space Telescope. Mike persisted through three rejections over 7 years on his way to becoming an astronaut, including overcoming a medical disqualification by training his eyes and brain to see better.
After working as an engineer at IBM, NASA, and McDonnell Douglas Aerospace, along with academic appointments at both Rice University and the Georgia Institute of Technology, Mike Massimino was selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in 1996, and is the veteran of two space flights, the fourth and fifth Hubble Space Telescope servicing missions in 2002 and 2009. During his NASA career he received two NASA Space Flight Medals, the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, the American Astronautical Society’s Flight Achievement Award, and the Star of Italian Solidarity (Italian knighthood).
At Columbia, Professor Massimino is teaching an undergraduate engineering course, Introduction to Human Space Flight, which harnesses his years of academic and professional experience. He is also collaborating on The Art of Engineering, a course in which all first-year engineers work on engineering projects with socially responsible themes.
Mike Massimino has a team record for the number of hours spacewalking in a single space shuttle mission and was also the first person to tweet from space. He has made numerous television appearances, including a six-time recurring role as himself on the CBS hit comedy The Big Bang Theory. He has hosted Science Channel’s The Planets and its special Great American Eclipse. He is featured in National Geographic Channel’s series One Strange Rock and is the host for Science Channel’s series The Planets and Beyond. Massimino is a frequent guest on television news and talk show programs, including NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and Fox News. He has also appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman and the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson and on Neil deGrasse Tyson’s StarTalk radio and television shows.
Massimino’s book, Spaceman: An Astronaut’s Unlikely Journey to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe, has received rave reviews and is a New York Times best-seller. He is a recipient of the 2017 Christopher Award, the Columbia University Community Impact Outstanding Community Service Award, and the Communications Award of the National Space Club.
Mike was really great to work with and just some amazing stories and we’re bummed our clients couldn’t meet him in person, but we think this is the next best thing. Sort of like him talking to us from space. Many of his stories are very topical to what we are all going through right now including the quarantine astronauts go through before going into space and the isolation even in space being disconnected from the world. The story of teamwork with his fellow astronaut classmates was especially powerful for me—this idea that we win or lose together. A great reminder that we’re all in this together right now. And I enjoyed his story about needing to both accept change and anticipate change in the same moment. You have 30 seconds of venting, ranting, or feeling sorry for yourself—and then you move forward. Because the only constant is change. Really powerful! Please thank him for us.