Friday, April 14, 2017

Spaceman: An Astronaut's Unlikely Journey to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe, by Mike Massimino (author, narrator)

Audible Studios, October 2016

Mike Massimino watched the moon landing on tv at seven years old, and he knew before that he wanted to go into space.

His other dream was to be a player for the Mets.

In the years that followed, the Apollo program wound up and space became boring. Massimino's interests focused elsewhere, and he became an industrial engineer.

Then the shuttle program and the international space station reignited interest in the space program. And Massimino had become focused on, specifically, robotic systems and their "human factors," human usability. He was interested in space again, and though it took some time and a lot of work, the space program was interested in him.

Massimino's journey from "interested again" to trying seriously to get into the astronaut program, through the many challenges along the way, including having to "fix his eyes" in the pre-Lasik era, in a way that NASA will trust. (They did not trust radial keratonomy.) There are mistakes and accidents along the way, including accidentally applying for the wrong program at MIT (two similar-sounding programs, one in the engineering school and the other in the political science school he didn't know MIT had.)

But becoming an astronaut doesn't mean you go into space, and that's another challenge for him.

And his dream becomes the Hubble space telescope.

Massimino has a great story, and he has a casual engaging style of writing, and also of speaking as he reads his own book for this audiobook.

Recommended.

I bought this audiobook.