Mike Massimino stared in disbelief at his TV.
The date was July 16, 1969, and he marveled as Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon.
At that moment, he knew he wanted to become an astronaut.
He was six years old.
But as Mike grew older, he developed more “realistic” dreams. After all, every kid wants to become an astronaut. The chances of making it are incredibly slim. He went to a local college, studied engineering, and took a job at IBM.
But he couldn’t shake the tiny voice inside that said – “why not try?”
So Mike upended his life. He enrolled in a Ph.D. program at MIT, and then proceeded to fail the qualification exam so horrifically that his professors gently suggested that perhaps a doctorate isn’t right for him.
He battled to pass the exam on his second attempt, and went on to teach at Georgia Tech, from where he repeatedly submitted applications to NASA for their astronaut candidate program.
He was thrilled when he received his acceptance – until he learned he needed stronger vision. At the time, NASA required astronauts to have natural 20/20 eyesight, without surgery.
So he sought out a doctor to help him re-train his eyesight.
Then he learned that he’d need to pass a swim test. He was in his 30’s and had never swum. “Can’t I just take a math quiz?,” he joked.
But he … didn’t let that sink him. (Pun intended).
In today’s special episode, former NASA astronaut Mike Massimino explains how anyone – including you – can take your own moonshot.
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