Spaceflight Now

Michael J. Massimino (Ph.D.)
Posted: January 7, 2002

PERSONAL DATA: Born August 19, 1962 in Oceanside, New York. His hometown is Franklin Square, New York. Married. He enjoys basketball, running, weightlifting, and camping.

EDUCATION: Graduated from H. Frank Carey High School, Franklin Square, New York, in 1980; received a bachelor of science degree in industrial engineering with honors from Columbia University in 1984; master of science degrees in mechanical engineering and in technology and policy, the degree of mechanical engineer, and a doctorate in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1988, 1990, and 1992, respectively.

ORGANIZATIONS: MIT Alumni Association, and Columbia University Alumni Association.

SPECIAL HONORS: NASA Graduate Student Researchers Program Fellowship, U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research Travel Prize to Japan, Best Paper Award at the 5th IFAC Symposium on Man-Machine Systems, Gold Medal in the Student Paper Contest at the 41st Congress of the International Astronautical Federation, and MIT Zakhartchenko Fellowship.

EXPERIENCE: Upon completing his B.S. degree from Columbia University, Massimino worked for IBM as a systems engineer in New York City from 1984 until 1986. In 1986 he entered graduate school at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he conducted research on human operator control of space robotics systems in the MIT Mechanical Engineering Department's Human-Machine Systems Laboratory. His work resulted in the awarding of two patents. While a student at MIT he worked during the Summer of 1987 as a general engineer at NASA Headquarters in the Office of Aeronautics and Space Technology, during the summers of 1988 and 1989 as a research fellow in the Man-Systems Integration Branch at the NASA Marshall Spaceflight Center, and during the summer of 1990 as a visiting research engineer at the German Aerospace Research Establishment (DLR) in Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany. After graduating from MIT in 1992, Massimino worked at McDonnell Douglas Aerospace in Houston, Texas as a research engineer where he developed laptop computer displays to assist operators of the Space Shuttle remote manipulator system. These displays included the Manipulator Position Display, which was evaluated on STS-69. From 1992 to 1995 he was also an adjunct assistant professor in the Mechanical Engineering & Material Sciences Department at Rice University, where he taught feedback control of mechanical systems. In September, 1995 Massimino joined the faculty of the Georgia Institute of Technology as an assistant professor in the School of Industrial and Systems Engineering. At Georgia Tech he taught human-machine systems engineering classes and conducted research on human-machine interfaces for space and aircraft systems in the Center for Human-Machine Systems Research. He has published papers in technical journals and in the proceedings of technical conferences.

NASA EXPERIENCE: Selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in May 1996, Massimino reported to the Johnson Space Center in August 1996. Having completed two years of training and evaluation, he is qualified for flight assignment as a mission specialist. Massimino was initially assigned technical duties in the Astronaut Office Robotics Branch. He is currently assigned to upgrade and service the Hubble Space Telescope during the STS-109 mission scheduled for launch early in 2002.