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Spaceman: An Astronaut's Unlikely Journey to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe

4.54  ·  Rating details ·  3,361 ratings  ·  556 reviews
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 ...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published October 4th 2016 by Crown Archetype
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Average rating 4.54  · 
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Start your review of Spaceman: An Astronaut's Unlikely Journey to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe
Inspiring and relatable. It made me want to work at NASA!  I would've had to do some serious thinking about my future career path if I'd read this book in high school!

Mike Massimino served as a NASA astronaut from 1996 to 2014. During his career he was on the crew of two spaceflights, the final two Hubble Space Telescope servicing missions. Spaceman: An Astronaut's Unlikely Journey to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe is the story of Massimino's life as an astronaut, from the boy with a dream i
Swaroop Kanti
Jul 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"The important thing is having a passion, something you love doing, and the greatest joy in the world is that you get to wake up every day and do it."

This book was just amazing! Mike Massimino got a spacesuit for me, took me into space, showed the blue planet and also let me help him repair the Hubble Space Telescope. Even after landing back on Earth a while ago now, my sense of balance is still thrown. :)


This has been a wonderful, fun and inspiring read.

"The human body can do amazing things, b
Aug 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I’ve about had it with likable optimists. I mean, they just keep looking on the bright side, sloshing that half-full glass, and touting marginal increases in strength from things that didn’t kill them. And all the while they just keep being likeable. What’s a devout pessimist like me to do?

For me, the answer was to preview astronaut Mike Massimino’s soon-to-be released book “Spaceman: An Astronaut’s Unlikely Journey to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe.” Talk about likeable optimist! As astrona
As a child Massimino was fascinated and preoccupied with space exploration. He gathered information about his heroes, Buzz Aldrin, John Glenn and Neil Armstrong. He wanted to grow up and be an astronaut. Massimino graduated from Columbia and MIT with an engineering degree and then he went to work for NASA.

Massimino tells in detail about his life as an astronaut and the various missions he was on. I was most interested in the work he did to correct the problem with the Hubble Telescope. He goes i
Sep 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I won an uncorrected proof version of this book through a Goodreads' Giveway. Thank you to the publishing company for their generosity!

This is an autobiography of Mike Massimino, who served as an astronaut on the 2002 Columbia mission and on the 2009 Atlantis mission, both to repair the Hubble telescope. However, his life is defined by much more than these spacewalks. Massimino takes the reader on his journey of becoming an astronaut, and discusses his experiences humbly and in remarkable detai
Jul 09, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I blame (or credit) my mother entirely with my interest in space and astronauts. I’m not the exploring type myself, but I love reading about those who have, and their unique experiences. Mike Massimino puts himself across as a fairly ordinary guy, from a fairly uninspiring background, who made good in the end despite not being the smartest, best prepared, most qualified, etc. Obviously, given the source, one has to keep a grain or two of salt in the mix to counter both self-deprecation and poten ...more
Nikki "The Crazie Betty" V.
If you’ve ever wondered what the difficult journey from dreaming about becoming an astronaut, to actually becoming an astronaut, is really like then this is the book for you. If you’re looking for an astronaut biography that is only about the astronaut’s time in space, then this is not the book for you. The author takes us along on his trip through his childhood, young adulthood, and adulthood as he struggles with his desire to become an astronaut, and what lengths he must go to in order to real ...more
Huyen Chip
Jun 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love this book. I love the author. Absolutely the "right stuff". This man's curiosity and determination is out of this world. This gives me the much needed motivation and inspiration. Thank you Massimino for being such an amazing human being.
Philip Hollenback
Nov 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, space
Oh god Mike Massimino is so adorable. I was a little put off my the religious talk, but I guess I have to give him a pass on that, considering he did GO REPAIR THE HUBBLE TELESCOPE TWICE.
Brenda A
Dec 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comic-con-2016
Mike Massimino, you're annoying.

You know how, like halfway through the book, you were talking about one of your coworkers who seemed to just have EVERYTHING? You're that guy. You're a total boss, and I hate you because I'm jealous of your life.


Okay but really, I wasn't entirely sure what to expect what I started reading this. Generally I get a little bogged down by books if they're overly science-y and math-y.
Jennifer Mangler
Oct 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. As a huge space geek and an unabashed Hubble lover, reading about Massimino's two missions to rescue and repair that fabulous telescope were thrilling. His descriptions of the profound effect of seeing the earth from space was very moving. I expected that. What I didn't expect, and completely loved, was his emphasis on the importance of relationships. He gives us an inside look at NASA, and the best part of that is how everyone is a team, how supportive th ...more
Joe Jones
Until I read this book I only knew Mr. Massimino from his appearances on the The Big Bang Theory. It was great to learn more about him. What a life he has led! He takes us from his childhood where he first dreamed of being an astronaut to finally becoming one and going to out into space. We see him from the highest highs to the lowest lows as he tells his story with humor, honesty, and a true joy for what he does. Give this to anyone who has ever looked up at the stars with wonder and had a drea ...more
Jul 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
If the title looks interesting to you, go for it. I enjoyed every minute of it. Mike's story was an inspiration. They only reason that I don't give it 5 starts is that I question how completely honest Mike is really being. He is the perfect husband, perfect son, perfect father, team player, hummm....Keep in mind, however, that I'm knocking off the star for you, just so you know what you are getting. If Mike has some horrible skeleton in his closet, I'm glad he kept it to himself. I'm happy to ha ...more
Chafic (Rello)
Jan 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
It's funny how things don't really register with you until much later.
Mike Massimino was one of those people.

I've been aware that there were repairs made on the Hubble telescope but I didn't really know the scale and magnitude of it until I read this.
It was a fascinating insight into the NASA culture and all the trials and tribulations that lead up to now.

Definitely a great read.
Meg (fairy.bookmother)
I have to admit, I'm totally out of the loop with the more recent NASA astronauts, and this memoir of Mike Massimino's makes me want to read everything about the space program that's happened since the beginning of the 2000s. Like Massimino, I was really interested in space and space travel as a kid, fascinated by Aldrin and Armstrong and engrossed with science fiction. Massimino recalls when he looks back on the earth from the Hubble Space Telescope, he says, "The Earth is a spaceship, and we'r ...more
Mike M
Dec 31, 2016 rated it it was ok
Looking at the other ratings and reviews of Spaceman, clearly I'm in the minority here. And 2-stars does feel a bit harsh, but if I'm being honest ultimately I thought the book was just OK. Now by all accounts Mike Massimino is a great guy. Positive attitude. Goal oriented. Smart and capable. If he ever hit the lecture circuit about his experiences being a NASA astronaut I'd love to go and hear him talk about it. I just didn't particularly enjoy reading about it.

Every chapter and/or section was
Jul 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those seeking the nitty gritty of becoming an astronaut (start training those eyes now)
Recommended to Cassy by: Blue Willow calendar, my interest in spaceflight, plus it's Massimino!
Highly recommended for space lovers!
Jul 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I could hardly put this down all weekend. The writing style is like you're sitting down for a drink with Massimino while he describes his life, dreams, and adventures to you. Really struck a cord of awe in me to imagine looking down at the earth and out at space from the Hubble. Also loved his words on teamwork.
Sep 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017
Best part of the book was the description of Massimino's determination to "do what you gotta do" to become an astronaut: study, study and study some more.
Most important message? #NeverGiveUp
Ericka Seidemann
Oct 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs
The best thing about this book? Mike Massimino is a regular guy. He's a guy you'd want to sit down and have a beer with, the guy who might be your kid's cub scout leader, or your neighbor who lets you borrow the edger. This book is about Mike's rise to superhero astronaut, and all the bumps, failures, and doubts along the way. He's a regular person (albeit a super-smart, courageous one), and look what he did!

Mike doesn't dwell too long on his childhood in New York, but does include some importan
Feb 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was a young lad at the time of the later Apollo missions and the Skylab mission. I used to follow them avidly and at the time knew the names of all the astronauts. I still retain a certain level of interest in space exploration missions and followed the main developments of missions like Cassini and New Horizons. However, I had never heard of Mike Massimino until he appeared as himself on the sitcom “The Big Bang Theory”. This is actually the second book I have ended up reading as a result of ...more
Apr 03, 2017 rated it liked it
Mike Massasmino is such an amiable guy, and such an effective spokesman for space exploration and scientific education, that I find it hard to criticize him. His autobiography Spaceman: An Astronaut's Unlikely Journey to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe, is like the man...amiable. It wasn't a behind the scenes look at the shuttle program, nor did it try and put the space program into a wider political or cultural context. It was interesting insofar as it provided insight into what it was like ...more
Sep 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Spaceman is a terrific book for all those people who at least once in their lives looked up at the stars.
Fascinating, funny and inspiring -because nothing is impossible when you fully commit your heart to it. Even spacewalking.

Read more on The Serial Reader Blog.

*This book was kindly sent to me via NetGalley by Crown Publishing*
Sara Wb
Jul 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
If ever in your life you have awed at the sight of a rocket launch or a shuttle landing or shed tears for any of NASA's losses, you will want to read this book. He's a science nerd, but so am I. He's self-deprecating, determined, witty, and demonstrates the actual life of an astronaut, on and off earth. I will be reading this again and encouraging all science/ space nerds I know to read this.
Jun 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love reading about astronauts and I'm a big fan of Massimino so when I saw this book I knew I had to read it.
He tells the amazing journey of becoming an astronaut and his trips to repair the Hubble.
Very inspiring story.
Mar 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
If you want to feel like a lazy slacker who has never accomplished anything of real purpose, listen to this man's amazing story. There's literally no challenge he can't overcome. He went to SPACE.
Sep 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Massimino's story of a childhood dream coming true is extremely relatable. I hope his dream that this book rekindles curiosity for space exploration comes true.
Bonnye Reed
Oct 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle-or-pdf
GNAB I received a free electronic copy of this memoir from Netgalley, Mike Massimino, and Crown Publishing, Crown Archetype, in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, for sharing your work with me!

Mike Massimino is a funny man. This memoir very effectively and frankly covers the ups and downs of the life and times of Michael Massimino, a man who dreamed of becoming an astronaut but never dared to dream it could come true. Our Firsts in space - Glenn, Young, Aldrin, etc., we have as a people v
Nov 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Space, astronauts, and the exploration of outer space fired my childhood imagination.

In junior high I filled scrapbooks with clippings of everything NASA was doing. I had a poster of the Solar System on my wall. I dad's telescope into the back yard to gaze at the moon.

In 1969 I wrote a poem about Apollo 11 and men walking on the moon. And much later I created my quilt, When Dreams Came True, to celebrate the men and their achievement. I used photos from NASA for the fused applique images.
Kenneth Iltz
Jan 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017-books
While I was reading this book, Gene Cernan who was the last man to walk on the moon, died.

I don’t have and never had any desire to be an astronaut. Massimo, on the other hand, grew up always wanting to be an astronaut. It took a stint at Columbia and then a doctoral at MIT before he thought he was qualified to apply to NASA. He failed NASA’s brutal cut several times before he was admitted into the program.

Massimino had two flights into space, both to repair the Hubble Telescope. He became an e
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Mike Massimino served as a NASA Astronaut from 1996 until 2014 and flew in space twice: STS-109 on space shuttle Columbia in March 2002 and STS-125 on space shuttle Atlantis in May 2009 – the final two Hubble Space Telescope servicing missions. Mike became the first human to tweet from space, was the last human to work inside of Hubble, and set a team record with his crewmates for the most cumulat ...more

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