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NASA Astronaut Mike Massimino Joins Columbia University in New York

August 4, 2014

After almost two decades with NASA, including two space shuttle missions, astronaut Mike Massimino left the space agency for a full- time position with Columbia University in New York.

According to a NASA release, Massimino's experience at NASA includes two shuttle missions to service the agency's Hubble Space Telescope. During the final servicing mission, STS-125 in 2009, Massimino became the first astronaut to tweet from space, which led to a significant social media following.

"Mike has played a significant role within the astronaut office in his time here," said Bob Behnken, Chief of the Astronaut Office at NASA'sJohnson Space Center in Houston. "His technical expertise was extremely helpful in the many roles he fulfilled, not the least of which was his part in the successful Hubble servicing missions.

"Mike embraced the opportunity to engage with the public in new ways and set the stage for more space explorers to be able to share their mission experience directly with people around the globe. We wish him well in his new role fostering the dreams and innovations of students just beginning their career paths."

Massimino joined NASA in 1996. Prior to his first spaceflight assignment, he served in the Astronaut Office Robotics Branch and in the Astronaut Office Extravehicular Activity (EVA, or spacewalk) Branch. Following his first spaceflight, he served in 2002 as a spacecraft communicator in mission control and as the Astronaut Office Technical Liaison to Johnson's EVA Program Office.

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Source: Travel & Leisure Close - Up

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