Astronaut Mike Massimino returns to MIT and shares his
experience on the Space Shuttle Atlantis (STS-125). Topics include the
challenges of space walking while repairing the Hubble, having the
right tools on hand for high stakes repairs, and the long hours of
practice that lead up to the task. As the first astronaut to Twitter from space, Massimino provides funny,
personal and insightful anecdotes from the mission including the
competition amongst his team to be the last human to touch the Hubble.
Accompanying Massimino on the mission was a rare book loaned from the
MIT Libraries’ collections. The book, a limited edition facsimile of
Galileo’s landmark publication “Sidereius Nuncius” (Starry Messenger),
was chosen to coincide with the 400th anniversary of Galileo’s
astronomical research, the first recorded planetary observations using
He presents the well-traveled book to MIT Libraries Director Ann Wolpert.
She happily accepts the undamaged book and waives any late fees. The
book traveled 5.3 million miles, making 197 orbits of the earth. It is
now on display in an exhibit at the MIT Science Library.
“Riding the space shuttle is like strapping yourself to a gigantic
beast … I felt like some creature had grabbed me and was taking me
somewhere and I had nothing to say about it. It was just the biggest
rush of sheer power and acceleration. You go from 0 to 17,500 miles an
hour in eight and a half minutes. So this thing has you, and it's going
to take you, and thank goodness it knows where it's going.”
– Mike Massimino
Lecture presented by the MIT Libraries; co-sponsored by: Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Technology and Policy Program and the Engineering Systems Division