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Review: Mike Massimino – Spaceman

Cards on the table, I loved this book. I enjoyed how it was written, the stories Mike tells and the detail of personal feelings and emotions he brings to each experience.

Mike’s journey towards becoming an astronaut begins on the day Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon.  Growing up in a tough working-class environment, but with plenty of support from his family it easy for anyone with a similar background to be immediately caught up in his story.  As Mike grows up the reader is taken through all his successes and his many, many failures. Academic and health failures he has had to face are constantly met with hard work and determination eventually leading him to university where more challenges await.  Obviously, there’s no spoilers in this review and knowing that Mike is an astronaut means it’s clear from the beginning that he overcame whatever obstacles he faced.  However even knowing this doesn’t detract from the suspense and emotion of the story.  If you’re a fan of NASA and of astronaut’s past and present you’ll already know of the teamwork and camaraderie that runs through it like its lifeblood but when Mike tells his story, you really feel it.  The same is true of the time leading up to his first rocket launch.  When Commander Chris Hadfield talks about a rocket launch in his ted talk, he says that today you’re either going to space or your going to die, but Mike takes you through this experience with heartfelt, pure emotion and you really feel it.

All astronaut autobiographies are fascinating and often centered around the premise “if at first you don’t succeed, try and try again”, but with “Spaceman” you really feel it and believe it.