Mike dreamed of exploring space after witnessing as a young boy Neil Armstrong's first steps on the moon. However, while he loved physics and engineering, he was reluctant to enter the space program because he didn't consider himself daring enough. At one point he realized that his dream of exploring space wouldn't go away, telling us, "I knew deep down that I could not live with myself if I didn't try."
The presentation was fascinating for boys and adults in the room alike, complete with astonishing visuals of space and earth, as seen from the Hubble. Most impressive though was Mike's candor: he shared his fears (heights), struggles (passing the swim test during training), and challenges (facing problems in space that weren't anticipated or encountered in training). Above all else, Mike noted that being part of a supportive team is essential to success: "Teamwork is the most important thing in space and in life. You win or fail as a team."
Our gratitude to Dr. Massimino, to Alumni Parents Council Co-Chairs Annie Haddad and Winnie Feng, and to alumnus Blaise Haddad '12 for bringing us this fascinating Alumni Parents Council Lecture.