Michael Massimino was 6 years old when he watched Neil Armstrong walk on the moon, and it changed his life. Years later as a student at Columbia University, he saw the movie "The Right Stuff" and it rekindled his passion for spaceflight. After graduating from Columbia and working for two years at IBM, he enrolled at MIT to pursue his dream of becoming an astronaut. It took four application cycles but he was luckily selected for the NASA Astronaut Program in 1996. He was fortunate to have flown on two Space Shuttle missions to the Hubble Space Telescope which included some awesome space walks. His passion is still, and always will be, spaceflight, but he is now looking forward to preparing the next generation of space travelers rather than going himself. In thespirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations).
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