On Space Exploration Day, Innovative Entertainment is proud to honor former NASA astronaut, author and speaker Michael J. Massimino.
Massimino is an exemplar of grit and perseverance. As a child in New York, little Mike was awestruck as he watched the impossible become possible—a man had walked on the moon. This early image of space continued to circulate through Massimino’s consciousness, and his passion for space became unstoppable, a force of life that fueled him in the face of a dangerous, grueling career path.
As a high school student, Massimino put his nose to the books and earned admission to Columbia University. He continued to put in tremendous hours of study, achieving at the Ivy League level and eventually earning his Mechanical Engineering doctorate from MIT.
Massimino continued to achieve on high levels, working further in the academic realm, with appointments at Rice and the University of Georgia. He also achieved high levels of employment in the corporate and governmental sectors: at IBM, McDonnell Douglas Aerospace, and NASA headquarters. In 1996 he set forth on his life’s goal and passed NASA’s incredibly rigorous challenges, becoming an official astronaut candidate.
Michael’s next challenges quickly turned physical. Never a strong swimmer, he was faced with sudden training demands that included hours in the deep water of the NASA practice facility. He put forth all of his energy reserves to train independently and conquer the water, allowing him to continue on his chosen path.
In 2002, his moment had finally arrived – lift off from the surface of the Earth. Though Massimino’s desire for space flight remained strong, the crushing forces of ascent into the cosmos brought him to a place of sheer terror. But he continued past his fear, elevated into the outer limits of human possibility.
Along with the crew, his two missions were to repair and service the Hubble Space Telescope, and he completed his objectives with steadfast resolve. The last repair mission, in 2009, brought incredible risk, but Michael persisted in the face of life-threatening obstacles. Among other career honors, this accomplishment earned him the American Astronautical Society’s 2009 Flight Achievement Award.
Massimino has become a pop culture icon by being the first person to tweet from Space. He has also earned acting stints (playing himself) on the Big Bang Theory; he has hosted multiple television programs and provided commentary on numerous cable and network shows. Between his expert knowledge and down-to-earth sense of humor, this astronaut is a natural in the spotlight. In 2016, Massimino’s insightful book was published to glowing reviews. Spaceman: An Astronaut’s Unlikely Journey to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe, is a riveting read that brings readers into realms they couldn’t imagine on their own.
Massimino currently serves as the Senior Advisor of Space Programs at the Intrepid Museum in NYC, as well as teaching classes at Columbia. He also travels to speak at events around the world where he enjoys sharing his deep knowledge of space exploration – as well as good old-fashioned laughter – with the crowd.
Innovative Entertainment offers you the opportunity to book honored NASA astronaut Michael Massimino for your next event. With a large roster of talented, engaging and unique speakers we also offer the possibility to book other incredibly accomplished experts in their fields. Contact us, let’s start planning your next event!