Astronaut Michael Massimino lands at SPA to speak


Michael Massimino introduces himself to the SPA audience.

Jack Benson, Copy Editor

Astronaut Michael Massimino shared his amazing stories of spacewalks on the Hubble telescope and his arduous path to becoming an NASA astronaut on Oct. 13 during a Tutorial presentation in the Huss Center. Massimino visited St. Paul Academy and Summit School to teach the values of a STEM education, but also to give students the wider message of never giving up.

Massimino started his talk by describing his dreams as a little boy of becoming an astronaut. Overtime his dream wavered as he grew up and learned that not many people can become an astronaut when they grow up.

Dreams are only impossible if you give up.

— David Massimino

“I thought being an astronaut would be impossible,” Massimino said.

Massimino always had a love of math and science. He took his passion to Columbia University and got a degree in engineering. However, the dream of a trip to space still remained.

“In college I didn’t think much about being an astronaut, but I couldn’t get the little boy dream of being an astronaut out of my heart,” Massimino said.

And eventually he got the chance. NASA was recruiting for astronauts. He applied and got rejected. He went back to focus on his education, but again NASA was recruiting for astronauts. He applied again. He was rejected again. The third time NASA looked for applicants, he got a call. They brought him to learn more about him. Once they knew him really well, well they rejected him. But, the fourth time, everything went in the right direction. Massimino became an astronaut.

He shared pictures and experiences from his time in space, including repairing the outside of the Hubble Telescope, eating in zero gravity, and the beauty of spacewalking and staring at Earth,

“I truly believe that our world is a paradise when I see it from space,” Massimino said

Massimino brought lightheartedness to his failures, but also inspired students to never give up.

“Dreams,” Massimino said, “are only impossible if you give up.”