Astronaut, Columbia Professor, Media Personality, Author, & Explorer

Mike Massimino

Fee Range

$25K - $40K

Travels From

New York, NEW YORK

At a glance:

Mike Massimino, a former NASA astronaut, is a professor of mechanical engineering at Columbia University and the senior advisor for space programs at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. Now available for Virtual Programming.

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 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.

  • An Astronaut's View on Planet Earth

    The orbit of the Hubble Space Telescope is 350 miles above the Earth, 100 miles higher than the International Space Station. From that altitude, astronauts are able to see the curvature of our planet, and spacewalking astronauts are able to take in the magnificent views through their helmet visors with a 360 degree view of our planet and the surrounding universe. Mike describes his observations and feelings while viewing our planet, including its fragility and the importance of taking care of it. Climate Change, one Earth.

    Virtual Program Available
  • Innovation and Problem Solving

    Mike's second spaceflight was the final Space Shuttle servicing mission to the Hubble Space Telescope. On that mission Mike was tasked with the most complicated spacewalk ever attempted: the in-space repair of a delicate scientific instrument inside of the telescope. A major miscue during that spacewalk nearly led to failure. But the ground control team and the astronaut's in space worked together to come up with an innovative solution that saved the day and the mission. Mike explains how although not every problem has an obvious solution, preparation and innovation can help us overcome unforeseen challenges.

    Virtual Program Available
  • Teamwork and Leadership

    Upon arriving at NASA, Mike discovered he was part of team that put the success of the team and the mission above individual accomplishments. Teamwork and leadership was developed through the extraordinary experiences that Mike and his fellow astronauts shared during their training and spaceflights. Through these experiences strong friendships and working relationships were forged that enable Mike and his colleague's to complete astronaut training, overcome tragedy, and repair the greatest scientific instrument in space — the Hubble Space Telescope. Mike discusses how teamwork and leadership led to success during his spaceflights and in life.

    Virtual Program Available
  • Following Dreams, Setting Goals, and Never Giving Up

    Mike'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. Mike was rejected three times by NASA including a medical disqualification which Mike 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. Mike stresses that as long as you keep trying no matter what the obstacles, achieving your goal is possible.

    Virtual Program Available
  • Working with Your Team and Clients Over Distance (Virtual)

    Mike 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 Mike’s 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 Mike 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.
  • Dealing with Isolation (virtual)

    Mike’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 (virtual)

    Mike’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. Mike 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.
  • Being Resilient and Adaptable in Times of Change and Uncertainty (virtual)

    Mike’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.
  • Mike's Messages for Virtual Audiences:

    All of us are dealing with the personal and professional impacts of COVID-19 on our lives, and moving forward in new ways of doing business. Mike’s stories and messages about how perseverance, teamwork, and leadership have helped him and his teammates get through difficult times in space and on Earth are especially applicable now.
  • Being Resilient and Adaptable in Times of Change and Uncertainty

    Mike’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.
  • Working with Your Team and Clients Over Distance

    Mike 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 Mike’s 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 Mike 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.
  • Resourcefulness when Recovering from Tragedy and Disappointment

    Mike’s first spaceflight was on Space Shuttle Columbia. On Columbia’s next voyage, the crew and the space shuttle were lost during reentry. 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. Mike 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.
  • Dealing with Isolation

    Mike’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.
The team is still buzzing about your inspirational and engaging talk. You were a huge hit!   We look forward to including you in other events at Fidelity.  

—Fidelity Investments

Thank You on behalf of all my DuPont colleagues who created, developed, and hosted the Emerging Leaders Conference. Your professionalism, sincerity, heartfelt connection with our emerging leaders resonated beyond belief.

—DuPont

This was just truly amazing! Mike’s talk was truly inspiring and so motivating! Everyone loved it!

—GitHub

I sincerely appreciate the obvious thoughtfulness and effort to incorporate all the points we discussed the other day.  I know this is going to be a big hit at the conference.  I can’t think of a better message to close our meeting. Thanks for putting this together so quickly on what I know was very short notice.

—National Council for Air and Stream Improvement

Great speech from Michael Massimino, Former NASA Astronaut, to our team at Infor.  Mike’s story & remarkable journey in the Space Shuttle program is a stellar lesson on how to launch success.  

—Infor Virtual Event

It was an awesome talk. Mike brought an authentic charisma that's infused with contagious energy. Thank you again Michael Massimino

—Ceridian Software Virtual Event

As anticipated, you delivered a talk that was spot on!  The comments have all been on how relevant your content was to our business.  Thanks for your prep and tremendous message!

—Terumo Aortic Virtual Event

I truly believe your story is very inspirational and you have a great ability to frame your message in the specific context of the business objectives we pursue and our audience. Congrats to you.

—TOMIA Software Virtual Event

I have been receiving messages all morning about your presentation, and how truly inspirational it was. The team is on cloud nine right now.

—Labster Virtual Event

The session went really well! We had almost 300 people from around the world tune in live for Mike's presentation. He told a great story and wove in messages around not giving up on your dreams, teamwork, working in isolation, and a lot of others. We have received extremely good feedback from participants, unsolicited, around his story and message.  I think it was a home run or a perfect lift off!  

—3M Virtual Event

"Mike was really great to work with and just some amazing stories and we’re bummed our clients couldn’t meet him in person, but we think this is the next best thing. Sort of like him talking to us from space. Many of his stories are very topical to what we are all going through right now including the quarantine astronauts go through before going into space and the isolation even in space being disconnected from the world. The story of teamwork with his fellow astronaut classmates was especially powerful for me—this idea that we win or lose together. A great reminder that we’re all in this together right now. And I enjoyed his story about needing to both accept change and anticipate change in the same moment. You have 30 seconds of venting, ranting, or feeling sorry for yourself—and then you move forward. Because the only constant is change. Really powerful! Please thank him for us."

—Personify, Inc

Our leaders were inspired by your story and I believe walked away with a renewed sense of purpose and ready to focus on our new aspiration and goal. Your determination has encouraged us to think differently and be more courageous in our pursuits to impact society.

—Pfizer

Your inspiration, passion and down to earth style was nothing short of spectacular.

—Commonwealth/McCann

Everyone was thrilled with the meeting, especially your presentation. I have never received so much positive feedback after one of our All Staff meetings.

—VSP Global

Mike was great.  He did a fantastic job of engaging the audience with his stories and down-to-earth style (pardon the pun). He hit the mark on our key messages, but didn’t beat people over the head with them. He integrated them seamlessly into his stories.  I also appreciated that he hung around and chatted with a number of our colleagues after his remarks – even if it did nearly cause him to miss his flight. All told, he was a hit.

—CVS Caremark

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