Written by a former astronaut, the book follows Massimino’s journey to reach his ultimate goal: space.
It was far from a straightforward journey, but ‘Mass’ is a pretty straightforward guy and he likes to tell it as it is, warts and all — which is great for getting an understanding on what it takes to become an astronaut.
Having said that, and despite the constant claims that he’s an average Joe, someone who earns a Masters degree and a PhD from MIT clearly isn’t average. Mike is clearly an extraordinary guy. Even for him this wasn’t an easy journey though — he had to work hard and dedicate his like to making his dream come true.
Something that doesn’t get mentioned is how much his family scarified to help him. He drags them all over the country in pursuit of his goal — reading between the lines, it sounds like another example of a wife giving up any aspirations she had in order to support her husband.
Massimino was selected as an ‘as-can’ (astronaut candidate) in ’96, which means he was present for a lot of the big events and changes that took place within NASA. It’s interesting to see the view of these from inside. His story also highlights what a dangerous a career it still is — despite how ‘routine’ we think spaceflight is.
In the end the book just seemed to go on too long. We get bogged down in the details and the administration, plus it starts to feel repetitive.
It’s read by the author, who does a good job, especially conveying his excitement and enthusiasm for his subject — space and himself.
Probably one for true space nuts only.