Mike Massimino, a former NASA astronaut, just published a book entitled Spaceman in which he talks about his experience with the Hubble Space Telescope, describing the journey of a kid day-dreaming about the outer space to a man that performed the spacewalk.
Spaceman – An Astronaut’s Unlikely Journey to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe is Mike Massimino’s journey from a kid that used to gaze at the stars in awe to the man that participated in the “final repair mission” that remains a historic landmark for NASA’s progress.
The novel, published by Crown Archetype this year, covers every aspect of the life of an astronaut, from the unyielding camaraderie among the members of the space community, to the indescribable feelings that a spacewalk stirs, to the grueling training sessions that got him ready to leave the planet.
Massimino explained that his book has three major themes: public service, the importance of pursuing your dream, and the awesomeness of working in space.
According to him, the biggest challenge he faced while working the two space shuttle missions destined to repair the HST was the first spacewalk he had to perform in order to reach the telescope.
In one of the chapters of his book he described the experience as:
“Imagine you’ve been tapped to be the starting pitcher in game seven of the World Series […] But you’ve never actually played baseball before.”
He talked about how nervous he was because he was supposed to do something that he trained for, but never actually done. However, when he set foot in outer space for the first time, touching the Hubble Telescope, gazing at the blue Earth that was slowly moving around its axis, he was reminded of the beauty of his profession.
During an interview with Space.com, Massimino said that he occasionally gives college lectures, and when he does, the astronaut always reminds the students the importance of pursuing one’s dreams.
Mike Massimino is proud of his career, especially since he got to have a lot of fun while working with NASA. Speaking of fun, during the same interview, the astronaut declared that he is sad about the fact that his editors removed some of his funnier stories, but he is bent on writing another book that will feature them, as well.
Image source: Wikipedia