Mike Massimino


228A S.W. Mudd
Mail Code  4703

Tel(212) 854-4275
Fax(212) 854-3304

Mike Massimino teaches and advises research in spaceflight topics including human factors, robotics, extra-vehicular activity (spacewalking), displays and controls, and planetary exploration.  He served as a NASA Astronaut from 1996-2014, flying in space twice and walking in space four times for the final two Hubble Space Telescope servicing missions.

Research Interests

Human factors, design of displays and controls, robotics

Mike’s particular interests focus on the design requirements and challenges of sending people to space.  These interests include the history of spaceflight, the space environment, spacecraft design, spacesuits, tool and techniques for spacewalking, psychology of spaceflight, training, mission control, robotics, environmental control and life support, aerospace medicine, and habitability.  As an astronaut he set team records for spacewalking time on Space Shuttle missions, and was the first person to tweet from space.  Mike has played himself on the CBS sitcom The Big Bang Theory; and is the author of New York Times bestselling book, Spaceman: An Astronaut’s Unlikely Journey to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe

Mike received his BS in Industrial Engineering from Columbia University in 1984, an MS in Mechanical Engineering from MIT in 1988, and MS in Technology and Policy from MIT in 1988, the Degree of Mechanical Engineer from MIT in 1990, and a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from MIT in 1992.  He is a Fellow of the Explorer’s Club and an Advisor at Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum.


  • Professor of Professional Practice, Columbia University, 2014–present
  • Astronaut, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 1996-2014
  • Assistant Professor, Georgia Institute of Technology, 1995-1996
  • Research Engineer, McDonnell Douglas Aerospace, 1992-1995


  • Explorers Club
  • Association of Space Explorers


  • NY Times Bestselling Author
  • NASA Spaceflight Medal
  • NASA Distinguished Service Medal
  • Columbia Engineering School Alumni Association Egleston Medal
  • Star of the Italian Solidarity (Italian Knighthood)


  • M. Massimino Spaceman: An Astronaut’s Unlikely Journey to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe. New York: Crown, 2016.
  • M. Massimino, “A View of the Earth,” Esquire Online, August, 2013.
  • M. Massimino, “A View of the Earth,” in The Moth, edited by Catherine Burns, New York: Hyperion, 2013.
  • M.J. Massimino, “Improved Force Perception Through Sensory Substitution,” Control Engineering Practice, 1995, Vol. 3, No. 2, pp. 215-222.
  • M.J. Massimino and A.A. Rodriguez, “Space Shuttle Flight Demonstration of the Manipulator Position Display,” 25th International Conference on Environmental Systems, San Diego, CA, July, 1995, Paper #951521.
  • M.J. Massimino and A.A. Rodriguez, “Flexible Operator Aids for Telemanipulation,” Telemanipulator and Telepresence Technologies, SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2351, SPIE’s International Symposium on Photonics for Industrial Application, Session on Components, Systems, Applications, and Human Operator Performance, October, 1994.
  • M. Massimino, A. Rodriguez, E. Ochoa, J. Clervoy, M. Garneau, and D. Engelbert, “A Manipulator Position Display for Space Servicing Operations,” AIAA Space Programs and Technologies Conference, Huntsville, AL, September, 1994, Paper #AIAA 94-4560.
  • D. Woods, M. Kearney, D. Crosse, and M. Massimino, “Space Station Robotics Task and Validation and Training,” Chapter 17 in Teleoperation and Robotics in Space, Progress in Astronautics and Aeronautics, Vol. 161, Edited by S.B. Skaar and C.F. Ruoff, Washington: American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 1994, pp. 475-489.
  • M.J. Massimino and T.B. Sheridan, “Teleoperator Performance with Varying Force and Visual Feedback,” Human Factors: The Journal of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, Volume 36, Number 1, March 1994, pp. 145-157.
  • M.J. Massimino and T.B. Sheridan, “Sensory Substitution for Force Feedback in Teleoperation,” Analysis, Design and Evaluation of Man-Machine Systems 1992, Selected Papers from the 5th IFAC/IFIP/IFORS/IEA Symposium, The Hague, The Netherlands, June, 1992, H.G. Stassen, Editor, Oxford: Pergamon Press, 1993.
  • M.J. Massimino and T.B. Sheridan, “Using Auditory and Tactile Displays for Force Feedback,” in Telemanipulator Technology, Hari Das, Editor, SPIE Proceedings, Vol. 1833, pp. 325-336, 1993.
  • M.J. Massimino and T.B. Sheridan, “Sensory Substitution of Force Feedback for the Human-Machine Interface in Space Teleoperation,” World Space Congress, Washington, D.C., August, 1992, Paper #IAF/IAA-92-0246.
  • M.J. Massimino, “Using Bisensory Feedback Displays for Space Teleoperation,” Acta Astronautica, Vol. 24, 1991, pp. 391-397.
  • N.J.M. Patrick, T.B. Sheridan, M.J. Massimino, and B.A. Marcus, “Design and Testing of a Non-Reactive, Fingertip, Tactile Display for Interaction with Remote Environments,” Cooperative Intelligent Robotics in Space, SPIE Vol. 1387, pp. 215-222, Proceedings of SPIE’s International Symposia, OE/Boston ’90, Applications in Optical Science and Engineering,  Boston, MA, November 4-9, 1990.
  • M.J. Massimino, T.B. Sheridan, and J.B. Roseborough, “One Handed Tracking in Six Degrees of Freedom,” 1989 IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, Conference Proceedings, Vol. 2, pp. 498-503.  
  • M.J. Massimino, and T.B. Sheridan, “Variable Force and Visual Feedback Effects on Teleoperator Man/Machine Performance,” Proceedings of the NASA Conference on Space Telerobotics, Vol. 1, pp. 89-98. Pasadena, CA, January 31 – February 2, 1989.
  • M.J. Massimino, and T.B. Sheridan, “Effects of Force and Visual Feedback on Space Teleoperation,” Proceedings of the 23rd Annual Conference on Manual Control, Cambridge, MA, June 22-24, 1988.
  • M.J. Massimino, “Remote Servicing of a Solar Power Satellite,” Space Manufacturing 6; Nonterrestrial Resources, Biosciences, and Space Engineering, pp. 148-152.  Proceedings of the Eighth Princeton/AIAA/SSI Conference, Princeton, NJ, May 6-9, 1987.