Mike Massimino, Ph.D.
Mike Massimino, Ph.D.'s Speaking Fee $25K - $40K

Mike Massimino, Ph.D.

The first person to tweet from space and a four-time spacewalker on two missions to the Hubble Space Telescope, including the final Hubble servicing mission, which has been called the most dangerous and complex mission in space shuttle history, Mike Massimino 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 to never give up when pursuing a goal.
Former NASA Astronaut, NY Times Bestselling Author; Media & TV Personality; Columbia University Professor

Expertise In:

  • Inspiring Lives
  • Leadership
  • Overcoming Obstacles and Challenges
  • Crisis Management
  • Motivation

Audience & Industry

  • Associations
  • Colleges and Universities
  • Corporations
  • Lecture Series
  • Sales Professionals

The first person to tweet from space and a four-time spacewalker on two missions to the Hubble Space Telescope, including the final Hubble servicing mission, which has been called the most dangerous and complex mission in space shuttle history, Mike Massimino 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 to never give up when pursuing a goal.

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, Massimino 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. Massimino 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 and late night television (including Good Morning America, The Today Show, CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, CNBC, and The Late Show with David Letterman), and has been called the real-life astronaut who inspired George Clooney’s role in the movie “Gravity.” He lives in New York City.

Featured Videos

Mike Massimino, Ph.D.'s Speech Topics

Dealing with Isolation

Massimino’s NASA training taught him valuable lessons on how to thrive in isolation. Some tips are: try to embrace the situation; concentrate on meaningful work; keep open the lines of communication between friends, family and co-workers; be respectful of the well-being of your crewmates; keep up your self-care and exercise; enjoy the beauty of our planet; and use time away from the hustle and bustle of our normal daily routines to think introspectively about our lives.

Resourcefulness When Recovering from Tragedy and Disappointment

Massimino’s first spaceflight was on Space Shuttle Columbia. On Columbia’s next voyage, the crew and the space shuttle were lost during re-entry. It was devastating to lose seven of his friends in an instant. While grieving and consoling the families of those fallen heroes, another reality set in: what would happen to the future of the space program? The International Space Station was not yet completed and the Hubble Space Telescope needed repair. Mike and his colleagues would not let the loss of their friends be in vain. Innovative procedures, tools, and techniques were developed to get the shuttle flying again to finish that important work. Massimino shares stories of how that same effort and attitude is needed now to recover from the effects of COVID-19 on our businesses and lives.

Working with Your Team and Clients Over Distance

Massimino and his fellow astronauts spent hours in simulators practicing how they would work and communicate with their support team in the Mission Control Center (MCC) while literally a world apart. He also spent years as a Capcom (Spacecraft Communicator) in MCC communicating with and supporting astronauts in space. Critical problems arose during his final spacewalk on the Hubble Space Telescope, and even though support team members were at various locations on Earth, they were able to save the day for Massimino in space. Although we are now physically separated from each other today due to COVID-19, we can strive to be the person that people can call for help. Reach out and try to be someone else’s Mission Control Center.

Being Resilient & Adaptable in Times of Change and Uncertainty

Massimino’s second space flight was one of the last of the Space Shuttle Program. It was time for NASA to retire the shuttle and move on to the next phase in space exploration. That next phase included flying exclusively on the Russian Soyuz for a few years, and working with commercial companies to provide launch services in the future. Many at NASA did not want to accept these changes. But the last few years have shown that those who accepted these changes have thrived, while those who resisted are no longer contributing. We may not like the new world we are now living in that has forced us to change the way we do business. But by accepting change and knowing that change can provide unseen opportunities, we can still shoot for the stars.

Following Dreams, Setting Goals, and Never Giving Up

Massimino’s dream of becoming an astronaut began when he was six years old watching television as Neil Armstrong took the first steps on the moon. The path to achieving this dream was wrought with unexpected challenges, failures, disappointments, and self-doubt. He was rejected three times by NASA including a medical disqualification which he overcame by teaching his eyes to “see better.” His persistence paid off with two missions on the Space Shuttle and four spacewalks on the Hubble Space Telescope. Massimino stresses that as long as you keep trying no matter what the obstacles, achieving your goal is possible.  

Works by Mike Massimino, Ph.D.