• Spaceman

  • An Astronaut's Unlikely Journey to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe
  • By: Mike Massimino
  • Narrated by: Mike Massimino
  • Length: 10 hrs and 54 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (4,038 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Earphones Award Winner (AudioFile Magazine)

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 Earth from outer space and see the surprisingly precise line between day and night? Or to stand in front of the Hubble Space Telescope, wondering if the emergency repair you're about to make will inadvertently ruin humankind's chance to unlock the universe's secrets? Mike Massimino has been there, and in Spaceman he puts you inside the suit, with all the zip and buoyancy of life in microgravity.

Massimino's childhood space dreams were born the day Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon. Growing up in a working-class Long Island family, he catapulted himself to Columbia and then MIT, only to flunk his first doctoral exam and be rejected three times by NASA before making it through the final round of astronaut selection. Taking us through the surreal wonder and beauty of his first spacewalk, the tragedy of losing friends in the Columbia shuttle accident, and the development of his enduring love for the Hubble Telescope - which he and his fellow astronauts were tasked with saving on his final mission - Massimino has written an ode to never giving up and the power of teamwork to make anything possible. Spaceman invites us into a rare, wonderful world where science meets the most thrilling adventure, revealing just what having "the right stuff" really means.

©2016 Michael J. Massimino (P)2016 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Drive, determination, and desire are the enduring qualities that are reflected throughout this audiobook, narrated by its author, former astronaut Mike Massimino… His joy is contagious, and his accomplishments are incredible. Everyone, not just science geeks, will enjoy this production. " ( AudioFile)

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What listeners say about Spaceman

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  • Overall
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    5 out of 5 stars

Likable guy, great storyteller

Normally nonfiction books don't keep me listening late into the night, repeatedly adding "just 15 more minutes" to the sleep timer for hours. This one did. Mike describes his path from being a boy on Long Island playing in a homemade astronaut costume through the series of choices, challenges, and lucky breaks that culminated in his two spacewalks to perform maintenance on the Hubble telescope. His story is by turns moving and thoughtful and funny and suspenseful.

Mike did a fantastic job with the narration; his humor and humility shone through the whole time.

I don't normally write reviews and fear I haven't done this book justice, but I'm pretty much going to be encouraging everyone I know to read or listen to it, so why not start here?

92 people found this helpful

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the most amazing, inspiring book I've ever read

this has to be one if not "THE" most amazing, inspiring book I've ever read in my life. half way through it I put it down and called my university to set up a start date to go back to school and finish my degree. it is so easy to find and excuse to just give up but that's all it is, just a whole bunch of excuses, hearing Mike talk about how an average person much like us "normal people" not geniuses with the perfect health or wealthy family can overcome every obstacle and full feel his dream makes you stop and rethink your self and say hey its time act, it's time stop "just making it by" it's time to get up and start pushing forward, this is the feeling I got when I read this book.

hope to some day I get to meet him and thank him in person for giving me the push I needed, that ray of hope that I lost so many years ago, or to put it in his terms, that kindle that light my dreams once more.

Thank you Mass.

73 people found this helpful

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Truly--A Man With The Right Stuff!

"Mass" as he was dubbed given his size, celebrates the 7-year old boy dreaming to the man he's become: open and optimistic about the future. "Spaceman" chronicles every hurdle, every opportunity taken along the way to becoming a top astronaut. From thinking he had the wrong major to battling qualifications about his eyesight, from struggling through a Shackleton-like endurance camp to the challenges of robotics, everything is covered. You want to know about the wonders of a spacewalk, about the glories of the Hubble telescope, here you go, all written in exciting prose and narrated by the man himself. And you feel like you're right there, in his shoes, experiencing it for yourself. Even the deathly silence after the Columbia disaster, the grief of the families and friends.
Definitely worth the time, worth the price.
You'll be flying in the science fiction space-monster, hurtling through space, viewing the Earth we live on far, far above.

46 people found this helpful

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Engrossing Memoir

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 into detail about what life in space was like and all the problems he and other astronauts had to overcome. Massimino had obstacles he had to overcome to achieve his goal and how he went about overcoming them is inspiring.

The book is well written in an affable, conversational style prose. It is great to read about someone achieving their childhood dream. I also found the fact he maintained an unwavering obsession with space all his life absolutely great. The book has humor and is easy to read. It leaves the reader with an upbeat feeling. This is a good book for a young person to read, who is trying to decide on a career choice. Now there is a choice of not only NASA but dozens of private corporations all working in space exploration.

Mike Massimino did a good job narrating his own book.

42 people found this helpful

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Truly inspiring!

I was born and raised on Long Island not far from where "Mass" is from. I am a lifelong NASA fan, Amateur Astronomer and space exploration enthusiast.

Listen to/read this book. Mass tells it like it is; like a real guy from Long Island. He really gives you an amazing perspective about just what it means to strive for and to become an Astronaut.

Bravo! Mass!!!!

15 people found this helpful

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This book is Out of this World!!

Would you listen to Spaceman again? Why?

This book is captivating - especially if you love NASA's space program. Mike Massimino has a special talent and passion for bringing us along on his historic journeys - both on earth and in space.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Spaceman?

Mike's drive to overcome all hurdles to become one of America's most memorable astronauts.

What about Mike Massimino’s performance did you like?

Mike Massimino's patriotism and passion for following in the footsteps of some of America's greatest heroes is clearly articulated by this amazing storyteller.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Taking passion and perseverance out of this world.

Any additional comments?

I would give almost everything to meet and / or get an autographed picture and book from this great American astronaut.

14 people found this helpful

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The Mundane

What did you love best about Spaceman?

The underlying tone; If you persist and trudge ahead with the mundane, you can accomplish great things. Eye on prize mentality. He had a clear vision and pursued it to make it reality. It embodies Louis Pasteur's axiom, "Chance favors the prepared mind"

What was one of the most memorable moments of Spaceman?

After all the trials and tribulations; After plowing ahead towards the goal. After giving himself the best possible chance to be a Spaceman. His elation and wonder at looking back at Earth from space. Often times when we accomplish a goal, the feeling is underwhelming. No so for "Mass". You honestly feel that he it was beyond his expectations.

Which character – as performed by Mike Massimino – was your favorite?

n/a

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

His decision to effectively eliminate his career as a space-walker. he chose to see his kids through the formative transition from high school to college. Class act. He accomplished his goal and then decided to support his son and daughter in theirs.

Any additional comments?

Give it a listen. You won't be disappointed.

11 people found this helpful

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Inspirational and fascinating

This is a wonderful biography that provides insight into Space travel and the people involved. Author as reader makes it even better.

10 people found this helpful

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Spacestory For Us Who Dreamed of Going

This book is terrific. It's emotional and allowed me to imagine what it would have been like to be an astronaut.

10 people found this helpful

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Yes, You CAN Do It!

Mike Massimino's story is one you really should not miss! It is the story of how a guy who could have settled for being just an 'Average Joe' decided from a very young age that he really wanted to be an astronaut. The Publisher's Summary gives an in depth description about what to expect. In short, this is the story of how you can reach your dreams if you stay focused and never lose faith. That is, you set a goal for yourself, start taking the right steps, are not deterred by setbacks and basically, do whatever it takes to achieve your goal. In other words, you've got to believe in yourself and not give up!

Mike was lucky to have a great personality in that he loves people and is a real team player. His honesty is disarming and one can readily see why he was picked for the NASA astronaut program. His personality shone through every moment of his very excellent narration.

Expect to learn so much from Mike--the requirements of the program, the camaraderie he craved and received, how the astronauts' families are not just an after-thought but are nurtured and taken care of, the Columbia disaster, the Hubble telescope, NASA politics, and so much more.

I found every moment of this audiobook fascinating and enjoyable and am so glad I was convinced to get it by another listener's enthusiastic review. I only hope I can do the same for someone else. Books like this are to be treasured and recommended to others.

“Audible 20 Review Sweepstakes Entry”

8 people found this helpful

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  • RonanFromEire
  • 06-08-20

Just ok I thought.

Mike is a great narrator, very passionate and engaging but I expected a bit more "Space" stories from Spaceman. It essentially only covers 2 trips that he made to the Hubble telescope, granted they were 2 great stories, but being a huge fan of all things space and NASA I guess I just wanted a bit more. Rated 3 out of 5 but without the narration that would be down to 2.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 01-17-19

excellent

Thoroughly enjoyed this from beginning to end. A true story of hard work and perseverance, read be the man himself in the most humble way.

1 person found this helpful

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  • M I
  • 10-31-21

A bit dreary

Couldn't finish it. Mass, your voice got too dull and made it impossible to carry on. Some if it was way too technical and far too detailed for the average Joe. Had to cut it short.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-13-21

Probably the best audiobook I have listened to

It doesn’t matter if you are into space or not but this book will grab your attention from the first second and never let it go. The story is great, the performance is outstanding and you can learn more about life, careers and determination than in most business books. Can’t recommend it enough.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-04-21

So glad I bought this book.

There are funny moments and sad moments. This book is interesting and educational. Great mix of fact and shared emotion.

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  • J.72207
  • 06-11-21

One of the best books I’ve listened to

So well written, mike does an amazing job of the narration. The story is really interesting and I can’t wait to see the future of space flight. Im now well and truly a space geek.

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  • JofusPocus
  • 05-29-21

Simply wonderful

Whether or not you are into Space books I really urge you to listen to this. Yes it's about one person's dream of becoming an astronaut but it's about so much more too. Mike's narration is excellent. Read this, you won't be disappointed.

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  • a p ling
  • 03-28-21

great bo,ok

really good insight into the space projects and the man himself
unlike some space books it's written for the listener and keep them entertained and interested the whole way through

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  • Peter Dobson
  • 02-04-21

A mesmerising story - beautifully told.

If you’ve ever looked up at the stars and moon as a kid and wished you could go there, Mike Massimino’s vivid story takes you there - twice.

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  • Brian molloy
  • 11-19-20

Audio kept cutting out

love the story and love Mass. Audio was cutting out and missing the last seconds of his sentences.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-17-19

A tremendous listening experience!

The subject matter is absorbing and author's narration captivating. A thoroughly worthwhile listening experience, real entertainment.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Nathan Hansen
  • 08-03-18

Brilliant

Cheers for putting this together Mike. It's been great to listen to over the last couple of weeks.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Nathan H
  • 02-22-18

One of the best space man book I've listened to yet!

I feel what set the author's book apart from others is how he inspired others through his lead and never giving up. While most focus on the space experience this book makes me want to meet him myself (fingers crossed right). It also lead me to doing further research and wanting to know more about the history.

He also kept up a good pace when reading, would love to hear more of his work in the future. Loved this book from start to finish. Well done!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kylie McPhie
  • 10-13-17

Rocket fueled Inspiration

Fantastic read, Mike takes you on a roller-coaster ride of emotions struggles triumphs and incredible human endeavour.

1 person found this helpful

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  • justanotheramazonian
  • 05-21-17

Enjoyable autobiography

Great read! Engaged from start to finish. Mike writes with candour and plenty of humour. Perfect if you're looking for a book that reaches into the human side of being an astronaut.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Alan Burchill
  • 12-05-16

Must read for any NASA fan

lots of detail about the space program. some very powerfull moments with a lot of human element's all the way through.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-15-20

One of a kind

Brilliant story of perseverance and positive thinking. Inspirational. I loved that he did not just tell the positives. He also told the challenges and fears which made him human but told how he overcame them. One of my all time favourite books