Andrew Stewart | Manager, Corporate Communications
In celebration of next week’s launch of acclaimed new book, Spaceman: An Astronaut’s Unlikely Journey to Unlock the Series of the Universe, I had the opportunity to speak with its author Mike Massimino—a former NASA astronaut from 1996 to 2014 and great friend of the IMAX family.
Massimino, who first came into contact with the IMAX team in 2002 at the launch of Space Station 3D and who currently teaches engineering at Columbia, looks back fondly at his time working with IMAX, which included his involvement capturing footage on board the last Hubble flight—STS-125.
“IMAX opened up the world of movies for me,” says Massimino, who also has appeared as himself on TV’s The Big Bang Theory.
With TV and film already under his belt, the publishing world just seemed like next hill to conquer for Massimino. But according to the former astronaut, writing the book, which took more than two years to complete, was more about being able to share his experiences in space in new, yet challenging ways.
“I tried to describe the emotions,” Massimino says. “For me, it was more about describing what I felt.”
For readers, Massimino says a surprising takeaway might be his descriptions of comradery among astronauts.
“I think that sometimes people think being an astronaut is very competitive,” Massimino says. “That really is not the case. You really are a cohesive team and we do work well together. It’s very, very important. The relationships and personal side [are what] I hope people find interesting.
“Also the personal experience of being in space, just how cool it is, I hope people enjoy that,” Massimino adds.
Overall, Massimino says he feels “very, very fortunate” to have been an astronaut.
“That’s why I love doing the IMAX movies because it’s one of the best ways to share [that experience] visually,” Massimino adds. “I just hope the book is another angle, another approach of learning what it’s like to be there.”
Spaceman: An Astronaut’s Unlikely Journey to Unlock the Series of the Universe hits bookshelves on October 4 from Crown Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House.
Make sure you check back with next week’s Friday Feature for more exciting news from IMAX.com.