Have you ever wondered what it would be like to find yourself strapped to a giant rocket that s about to go from zero to 17,500 miles per hour? Read more...
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Have you ever wondered what it would be like to find yourself strapped to a giant rocket that s about to go from zero to 17,500 miles per hour? Or to look back on the earth from outer space and see the surprisingly precise line between day and night? Or to stand in front of the Hubble telescope, wondering if the emergency repair you re about to make will inadvertently ruin humankind s chance to unlock the universe s secrets? Mike Massimino has been there, and in "Spaceman" he puts you inside the suit, with all the zip and buoyancy of life in microgravity.
Massimino s childhood space dreams were born the day Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon, but his journey to realizing those dreams was as unlikely as it is captivating. Growing up in a working-class Long Island family, Massimino catapulted himself to Columbia and then MIT, only to flunk his qualifying exams and be rejected twice by NASA before making it to the final round of astronaut selection where he was told his poor eyesight meant he d never make the cut. But even that couldn t stop him from finally earning his wings, making the jump to training in T-38 Air Force jets and preparing his body and soul for the journey to the cosmos. Taking us through the surreal wonder and beauty of his first spacewalk, the tragedy of losing friends in the Columbia shuttle accident, and the development of his enduring love for the Hubble telescope which he d be tasked with saving on his final mission Massimino has written an ode to never giving up and the power of teamwork to make anything possible. "Spaceman" invites 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."
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-08-22
- Reviewer: Staff
Readers will be delighted and moved by retired astronaut Massimino’s almost childlike wonder and enthusiasm, coupled with his humility, as he recounts the magnificence of space, the camaraderie of NASA in good times and bad, and a genuine gratitude for his good fortune. Inspired as a child by Neil Armstrong and the crew of the Apollo 11, Massimino was determined to one day join their ranks. That dream dimmed as he got older, but just as he was preparing for a career in the corporate world he saw the movie The Right Stuff, which reignited his fire and set him on a path that would finally lead him into orbit. Though the astronaut tests and training were some of the most challenging experiences of Massimino’s life (which he dutifully recounts, warts and all), he made it, joining his fellow astronauts on two flights into space, including a nail-biting effort to repair a power supply panel on the Hubble Telescope. He also recounts what it was like to be at NASA during the 2003 Columbia shuttle tragedy. What could have been a rote, stoic memoir recounting dates and stats proves to be anything but. This is an engaging and uplifting memoir that’s sure to give readers a deeper appreciation for the U.S. space program and inspire some future astronauts. (Oct.)