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- Innovation / Creativity
- Inspiration / Achievement
- Overcoming Adversity
- Peak Performance
- Space Exploration
- Teamwork / Teambuilding
- Technology / Alternate Technology
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Mike Massimino Astronaut, Columbia Professor, Author, Media Personality
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.
He has had a recurring role as himself on the CBS comedy “The Big Bang Theory,” is the host for the Science Channel Series “The Planets and Beyond,” was featured in National Geographic Television’s “One Strange Rock,” is a frequent expert guest on news programs, including Good Morning America, The Today Show, CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, and CNBC, and has been called the real-life astronaut who inspired George Clooney’s role in the movie “Gravity.”
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. His new book, Spaceman: The True Story of a Young Boy’s Journey to Becoming an Astronaut, was published in April of 2020.
During his NASA career he received two NASA Space Flight Medals, the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, and the American Astronautical Society’s Flight Achievement Award. In 2018, Mike 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.”
Mike 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 crisis, and to never give up when pursuing a goal.