Galileo book returns with Astronaut Mike Massimino on Oct.28

Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2009
Killian Hall, Building 14

Veteran Astronaut and MIT Alumnus Dr. Mike Massimino (SM TPP 1988, Engineer ME 1990, PhD 1992) will come to MIT on Wednesday Oct. 28 to talk about his recent work servicing NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and to return a book to the MIT Libraries.

In May 2009 Massimino and six other astronauts boarded the space shuttle Atlantis for a journey that took them 5.3 million miles for a final servicing of the telescope.  Massimino and other STS-125 crewmembers conducted five spacewalks to upgrade the Hubble, enabling it to send back spectacular images of the universe well into the next decade.  While on the mission the crew captured photographs and video, and Massimino became the first astronaut to ‘Tweet’ from space—sending back updates on the mission through his Twitter feed (, which has surpassed 1 million followers.

Accompanying Massimino on the mission was a rare book loaned from the MIT Libraries’ collections.  The book, a limited edition facsimile of Galileo’s landmark publication Sidereus Nuncius (Starry Messenger), was chosen to coincide with the 400th anniversary of Galileo’s astronomical research, the first recorded planetary observations using a telescope.

In his talk, Massimino will discuss his work and show images and video from the mission.  He will also present the well-traveled book back to the MIT Community and the Libraries.

Sponsored by the MIT Libraries, the Technology and Policy Program (TPP)/ Engineering Systems Division (ESD), and Dept. of Aeronautics and Astronautics.