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Former Astronaut & Bestselling Author

Mike Massimino: Biography at a Glance

  • A former NASA astronaut and the first person to tweet from space, Mike is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Columbia University and the Senior Advisor for Space Programs at the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum
  • His book, Spaceman: An Astronaut’s Unlikely Journey to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe, is a New York Times Bestseller
  • 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 was selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in 1996
  • A veteran of two space flights, Mike has received a number of awards including two NASA Space Flight Medals, the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, American Astronautical Society’s 2009 Flight Achievement Award, and Star of the Italian Solidarity (Italian Knighthood)
  • Has made numerous television appearances including a six-time recurring role as himself on the CBS hit comedy The Big Bang Theory, hosting Science Channel's The Planets and BeyondThe Planets, and its special The Great American Eclipse
Former Astronaut & Bestselling Author

The first person to tweet from space and a four-time spacewalker on two missions to the Hubble Space Telescope, including the final Hubble servicing mission, which has been called the most dangerous and complex mission in space shuttle history, Mike Massimino uses humor and his unique storytelling ability to inspire audiences to identify the passion in their work, to use teamwork and innovation to solve problems, to provide leadership in the face of adversity, and to never give up when pursuing a goal.

A spacewalker on the final two Hubble Space Telescope servicing missions, Michael Massimino and his crews traveled faster (Mach 26) and higher (350 miles) than any other astronauts in the 21st century while increasing the discovery capabilities of arguably the greatest scientific instrument ever built by a factor of 100. During the final Hubble servicing mission, Mike was faced with both success and life-threatening challenges as he performed the most intricate repair ever attempted in space. He also became the first person to tweet from space and currently has 1.3 million Twitter followers. On his last mission, Mike set a team record for cumulative spacewalking time and became the last person to work inside of the Hubble Space Telescope. He has made numerous television appearances, including a recurring role as himself on the hit CBS sitcom The Big Bang Theory, has been a guest on numerous late-night television broadcasts, has hosted educational television programs, and has provided expert commentary on many network and cable news programs for stories on the future of space exploration and commercial space opportunities. He was also featured with his crew in the IMAX film Hubble 3D and has been called “the real-life astronaut who inspired George Clooney’s role” in the film Gravity. In his book, Spaceman: An Astronaut's Unlikely Journey to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe (October 2016), Mike takes us into a rare, wonderful world where the nerdiest science meets the most thrilling adventure, and pulls back a curtain on just what having “the right stuff” really means.

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“Mike was a great speaker, and our guests were very engaged and appreciative of his time and experiences. Everyone had nothing but positive things to say.”

Zurich American Insurance Company

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