“It’s a planet,” I said. “It’s not what we thought it was back home. It’s not this safe cocoon, man. We’re out here spinning in all this chaos. The Earth is a planet. The Earth is a spaceship, and we’re all space travelers.”
My husband was *thisclose* to finishing his BS in Physics and taking his first steps into an Engineering program when NASA began the slow down, and eventual shut down, of its shuttle launches. He never wanted to be an astronaut; he wanted to build the spaceships (and be the guy who worked on what we sent into the universe) but the slow down shifted his ambitions. Mike Massimino was luckier- he got to live out his spaceman fantasies.
Massimino was the first person to Tweet in space (he was on the Today show last week talking about the eclipse and despite all his accomplishments this is how he was introduced) as well as the last person to work in the Hubble telescope. He has been to space on two separate shuttle launches, both doing repairs on Hubble, and spacewalked a total of four times. His excitement about space is contagious; he comes across as charismatic and enthusiastic (which seems to be paying off in the long run- he is getting a TV show) as well as intelligent. This guy has degrees coming out of his ears but he is very humble and despite some technical jargon the science bits are easy to follow.
The journey was not always smooth; his father got incredibly ill soon after he joined NASA and he speaks highly about the instant camaraderie he felt from his coworkers and their immediate rallying behind Mike and his family. While he briefly touches on his family and childhood, particularly his early love of space, the book is almost entirely devoted to his education and career path that led to his becoming an astronaut.