At a Glance

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
Biography

Mike Massimino, a former NASA astronaut, is a professor of mechanical engineering at Columbia University and the senior advisor for space programs at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. He received a BS from Columbia University, and MS degrees in mechanical engineering and in technology and policy, as well as a PhD in mechanical engineering, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

After working as an engineer at IBM, NASA, and McDonnell Douglas Aerospace, along with academic appointments at Rice University and at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Mike was selected as an astronaut 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.  Mike has a team record for the number of hours spacewalking in a single space shuttle mission, and he was also the first person to tweet from space. 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.

Mike 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.   He is a frequent guest on television news and talk show programs, including NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, and CNN. He has also appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman and the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, and on StarTalk radio and television shows.

Mike’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. Mike's new book, Spaceman: The True Story of a Young Boy’s Journey to Becoming an Astronaut, a young adult version of his previously published autobiography, is scheduled for publication on April 7th, 2020.  He is a recipient of the 2017 Christopher Award, the 2017 Columbia University Community Impact Outstanding Community Service Award, the 2017 National Space Club Communications Award, and in 2018 was inducted into the Long Island Air and Space Hall of Fame. The street that Mike grew up on in Franklin Square, Long Island has been renamed “Mike Massimino Street.”

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Reviews

Many of his stories are very topical to what we are all going through right now - including the quarantine and isolation astronauts go through before going into space.

Personify Software

We have gotten an incredible amount of positive feedback about Mike's talk, and to say he ‘delivered’ would be a complete understatement.

Janssen Oncology

The feedback we got from Mike's work at our meeting was rated higher than anything we did, and it wasn’t even close. The message he delivered – the tone of never giving up, team culture, perseverance and overcoming challenges - still resonates this week in conversations I have had with people.

Cook Vascular Programs

Mike is so inspiring, motivational, and GENUINE!!! His stories are amazing – I could listen to him all day! It was truly a hit with our audience.

Boston-Based Retirement Services Organization

OMG – he was awesome!  Everyone loved him!! We couldn’t have had a better motivator for our team.

United Healthcare

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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