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Massimino gives an out of this world speech

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Massimino delivers an inspiring speech to a school wide assembly.

Massimino delivers an inspiring speech to a school wide assembly.

Kendra Eichelberger

Kendra Eichelberger

Massimino delivers an inspiring speech to a school wide assembly.

ALEXANDRE SPALLONE, STAFF WRITER

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On January 12 2016, Columbia University professor and former NASA astronaut Michael J. Massimino visited Trinity to discuss his impressive career. Massimino’s story is one of perseverance. When he was six, he watched Neil Armstrong land on the moon, inspiring him to decide to pursue a career as an astronaut. He gave up the idea of pursuing a career in becoming an astronaut, describing himself as “skinny and afraid of heights.” His decision was reinforced by NASA’s later comments in  the 1980s that there would no longer be anymore moon landings, but there would still be available opportunities to travel to space. This blow made Massimino believe he had an even less of chance of ever becoming an astronaut. However, after pursuing an education in engineering at Columbia University and operating space robotics systems at M.I.T. Massimino applied for a NASA position. He was rejected twice without an interview and then moved to Houston to work at the Johnson Space Center. The third time Massimino applied for a position as an astronaut, he moved past the application process, and began a week-long interviewing phase. He was rejected again. Massimino applied for teaching positions at Georgia Tech and Rice soon after. When a fourth opening for a position as a NASA astronaut opened, Massimino seized the opportunity. To his delight, he was accepted and served on two missions to fix and update components for the now discontinued Hubble telescope.

In his illustrious career, he and his crew impressively set the record for the longest spacewalk at 35 hours and 55 minutes. Massimino also sent the first tweet in space.

His talk at Trinity acted as more than just a phenomenal success story. He symbolized that perseverance, a strong work ethic, and constant working towards your dreams and aspirations pays off in the end. Massimino as a child dismissed his dreams of ever becoming an astronaut as far-fetched believing he was too weak, scared of heights, and skinny. He continued to work hard and never gave up applying again and again to positions for becoming an astronaut. He did this despite being denied on three separate occasions. Massimino’s effort proved to be successful, as he will go down in history as a record-setting astronaut.

 

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Massimino gives an out of this world speech