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December 5, 2023 54 mins

Meet Craig’s long time friend Mike Massimino. He served as a NASA Astronaut from 1996 until 2014, flew in space twice and became the first human to tweet from space. His new book titled Moonshot: A NASA Astronaut’s Guide to Achieving the Impossible is available here: or anywhere you get your books. EnJOY! 

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Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
Speaker 1 (00:00):
My name is Craig Ferguson. The name of this podcast
is joy. I talked to interest in people about what
brings them happiness. Make mass Amino has done something that
I've always wanted to do, and he's beat the space.

Speaker 2 (00:18):
Here's Mike. Do you wear headphones when you're in space?

Speaker 3 (00:26):
You need to be able to communicate with the ground,
with each other. So sometimes we would not big ones
like this.

Speaker 2 (00:32):
No big head We had a little ones like earbuds.
Ye're like, no, maybe now they do that.

Speaker 3 (00:37):
We have these old kind of like the thing you know,
like Janet Jackson would wear and are singing, you know, Madonna,
one thing like that.

Speaker 1 (00:44):
Like that, not the just I'm talking about the communication gear. Yeah, no,
I get it.

Speaker 2 (00:48):
Some of us.

Speaker 3 (00:49):
You know, you do whatever you want up there really
as long as the camera's not on. But the cameras
are so low I think the cameras, yeah, but you
can you can turn off. But but the little here
it's kind of like a little mic headset, so you
can wear a headset or you're yeah, you have to
have something now in your space suit when you're spacewalk
and you wear a snoopy cap because it makes it
look like Snoopy the dog. And then you have headphones
on your you know, but they're not big like this, right,

there's just little headphones and there microphones that got colmcap
is well.

Speaker 1 (01:13):
And do you have to when you finished talking? Do
you have to say beep when you're finished talking?

Speaker 3 (01:17):
No, that happens naturally. But I think they got rid
of that thing. They got rid of the They got
rid of the beep. Last time I was down there,
they called it a quindar. They were a guy that
can look up what the hell that means.

Speaker 1 (01:28):
I thought quindar was a medical name for a lady's
personal equipment.

Speaker 3 (01:32):
It might be man, that's why they called it that.
But a little beep that was called a just called
a quindar. And how was there a couple of years ago.
I'm like, what's going There's no beep and they know
we don't. I think why they did that back in
the day was it was like an actual city. When
you'd cue the mic, it was a signal that was
sent to kind of clear the line. It's like it
was an antiquated thing. So they have just like a
beep and we're like clear the lines. So now the

message is coming. Nothing's coming in this direction.

Speaker 2 (01:57):
This is gone.

Speaker 1 (01:57):
You know, you're talking to a guy in space. If
you don't get I agree with you, I agree with me.

Speaker 2 (02:03):
That all.

Speaker 1 (02:04):
Now listen, Mike, I'm talking to you. And right in
front of me, right here is a book called Moonshaw right. Yeah,
And it says it's written by you. Now I know
you for a couple of years. You wrote a whole
book go by yourself.

Speaker 2 (02:17):
Knowing you a long time. Actually, I mean it's show.
It was an nine. Oh wow. It was my first
late night appearance and it was an I. So it
was fourth.

Speaker 3 (02:27):
That's fourth over fourteen years, ten years ago. So you
were saying, did I write this by myself? Yeah, you
know I wanted to, I thought because I had written
another book. I had his co writer named Tanner Colby.
He was great. He wrote a book with Trevanoah as well,
and he wrote helped me with my first book. And
so I was like, now I can branch out on
my own. And my agent said, I don't think that's

a good idea. I'm calling Tanner.

Speaker 2 (02:50):
So he got it.

Speaker 3 (02:51):
It was a little bit different than the way we
worked together the first time. It was more me writing
and than him kind of looking at the stories and
telling me what he needed. And as before I told
him stories and it was then he had someone transpose it,
you know, and he would write it from that.

Speaker 2 (03:06):
So a little bit different. But no, I did have help.
I think it's good to have help. Definitely.

Speaker 3 (03:11):
Yeah, it's going to be better with especially with someone
who's talented as Tanner.

Speaker 2 (03:15):
And I love the guy. He's so much fun to
work with, so all the resources in the co everything. Yeah,
why not? All right?

Speaker 1 (03:23):
So I'm not an astronaut's guide to achieving the impulsible, right,
all right? So here here's my question. Then, what did
you learn when you were becoming an astronaut? First of all,
here's the thing. I know this, but you're not a pilot.

Speaker 2 (03:39):
I'm a private pilot. You're a private right but you
know you or I am, Yeah.

Speaker 3 (03:44):
But probably more accomplished than I am in there in
the private pilot realm.

Speaker 1 (03:48):
I don't know by that. I haven't flow that. I'm
like VFR single engine.

Speaker 2 (03:53):
Okay, that's what I did.

Speaker 3 (03:55):
You do that before you went a space raft. I
did that before before it was an astronaut. I got
my pilot's since once we became astronauts. We got to
fly in T thirty eight's, so I have a thousand
hours of co pilot in a T thirty eight high
performance jet. So it's a mock airplane. It could go,
but we would cruise, you know, about zero point nine

to one mock, so five hundred miles an hour up
high at forty one thousand feet.

Speaker 2 (04:19):
It could go high. Did you do the sine wave
thing to do to witlessness?

Speaker 3 (04:23):
You could do that in that plane or any airplane
as a matter of fact, my pend Oh yeah, yeah,
that would make your cough. You gotta be careful. But
that airplane that we used to use was a KC
one thirty five, and then they started using a d
C eight. NASA did and then they turned it over

to a contractor. There's a company that does that.

Speaker 2 (04:46):
It's a company in Vegas.

Speaker 3 (04:47):
Is on there, you know, I don't want to mispronounce
there and they get it wrong, but there's a zero
maybe zero G or something. They do this where people,
paying customers can go and I think, you, yeah, you're
just go on his airplane. And I don't know if
it's different than what we did. The parabolos are probably similar.
To what we did when we were training.

Speaker 2 (05:08):
Did you throw up before slaving? Did it?

Speaker 3 (05:10):
I did not, But I wanted to medicated. We would
medicate for these things. Yeah, so this is so they
would give us. An Essa gave me. He would give
us this thing. It's called scope dex and what it
was it was scopolamine, which is like an anti nausea drug, right,
but that apparently makes you a little sleepy. So they

didn't like that idea. So they would combine that with
Texa dream or something like Yeah Dexi's midnight runners. So
they would give that combined to us. So let's go
A couple of years ago, I was doing a I
was doing like a commercial video ad for Lego, and
they wanted to build Legos and zero gravity. So they're
find me if we're gonna go out, we're gonna do this.

They couldn't get the airplane here in America, I don't know.
We went out to France, to Bordeaux and flew with
this with a French different it's more European very you're
doing it. It was a little bit different, but it
was it was so anyway. So I go to my
now like I go to a doctor, here, you know
in New York have like a family doctors. Yeah, doctor

bask and I need some scolpe decks. She's like, what
I need? Uh, the sculpt because what is that? I
go it's She goes, that's not anything real. That's just
something they gave you, guys.

Speaker 2 (06:21):
You can't get that. Yeah, it's like it was, I
mean it was a real pill. What they did? I wondered.

Speaker 3 (06:27):
You know, you're right because they would give it to
us in a little like a see through capsule, and
you saw these two things floating around in it, so
they kind of made their own concoction. She goes, I
can't get I can't get that for you.

Speaker 1 (06:37):
So it was just like so it's basically a guy
on the way the aircraft going angy one you want.

Speaker 2 (06:43):
But we had it in space. I flew it.

Speaker 3 (06:45):
I took it before I flew in space as well.
So that was a really good anti nausea drug. But
still I felt a.

Speaker 1 (06:50):
Little did you get up? You get up on the
shuttles on a shuttle twice? That's so that's like a
powerful takeoff, right.

Speaker 3 (06:57):
There was a lot of power. Shuttle is was huge
can comparison to like the SpaceX vehicle were you're really
just putting putting a few people in it. Shuttle can
carry seven passengers and a lot of cargo like something
like double space telescope and big pieces of the of
the space station. So when you take when you take
gs the G forces to go to orbit or similar,

no matter what a space craft you're in, you get
a max of three g's.

Speaker 2 (07:21):
That's for about two and a half minutes. That's it.

Speaker 3 (07:23):
So like in a in a in a high performance
jet you can go much higher than it's only for
a split second, right, because if you sustain a high
G actually yeah, you can get to you right. So
but with this you run your back. So the reason
you could pass out in a high performance jet doing
it like a six G turn is that the you're
kind of sitting in a chair more or less right,
and the lot the I can't believe it's going to

say vector, we can you know, you know what I mean,
you know, a small audience. So the vector So the vector,
as you understand, of course, the gravity vector now is
is going through your head, down through your vertical so
it's vertical exactly. So that's sucks the blood out of
your head. And you can pass out right in space.
You're lying on your back for that reason, so that
the gravity vector is going for your for your chest,

so you feel it in your chest. I feel like
there were three big dudes sitting on me, none in
a good way, in a good way. So it remind
me of my playground days as a child.

Speaker 1 (08:15):
I'm going to get to that because you and I
are of a similar vintage.

Speaker 3 (08:19):
Yes, I think almost exactly. I'm sixty one, now, that's
what I am sixteen?

Speaker 2 (08:23):
Right? What do you think about that? Is that?

Speaker 1 (08:25):
All right?

Speaker 2 (08:25):
I gotta be honest.

Speaker 1 (08:26):
As long as I don't look in the mirror, I
don't notice anything to me. As long as I don't
look in the mirror, and I'm talking about looking in
the mirror, particularly below the neck, I'm like, what the
hell hell's happening because the gravity vector is pilling. I've
got some of that super strong American gravity working on
at least one of my testicles.

Speaker 2 (08:48):
Better not to look. You don't need to be looking
at it. I was thinking about that.

Speaker 1 (08:52):
So if I ever get plastic surgery, I'm going to
start with my balls.

Speaker 2 (08:56):
Really, what are you going to do? Well?

Speaker 1 (08:58):
I thought i'd get them plumped and you know, a
lift because here's what I thought. I know that wheel,
but here's what I thought, because look, it's your balls. Yeah,
like if they if they screw it up, it's not
gonna look at any worse. It can't look at it.
That's a very sensitive area though. I'd leave those things alone,
all right. I want to mess with that. Yeah, no, no, no,

no no, yeah.

Speaker 3 (09:21):
I'm not an expert in this area, but I leave
it alone.

Speaker 1 (09:25):
You know, it's very important that you get massive people
under your podcast ball to do that.

Speaker 2 (09:30):
No, I don't want to let him mess with that.
I want to do that now, all right.

Speaker 1 (09:35):
Fair enough, but you know you can achieve the impossible,
make your screwed them look good after the age of six.
But here's the thing. You and I are a similar vintage. Right,
so when I'm when I'm a kid, I'm seven years old. Yeah,
so you're the same. Yeah, And I see I'm allowed
because of the time difference. It's on in the middle
of the night in British television, Scotch television. I see
these guys land on the moon. Yeah, and I'm like,

I want to be an American. That's when I say
that I'm.

Speaker 2 (10:00):
I was like, I'm gonna be and you are in America.

Speaker 1 (10:02):
I have an America now, Yeah, And I was like,
whatever these guys are doing, that's that's I'm into that.

Speaker 2 (10:09):
Yeah. I never I never went to space.

Speaker 1 (10:10):
I never did it, but I thought, whatever these people
are doing, I want to be part of that. Yeah, now,
I can guess. And that had a big effect on
you when you were a kid too.

Speaker 3 (10:19):
Yeah, absolutely exactly what you said, Greig. I remember looking
at that TV said a little bit earlier than you did.

Speaker 2 (10:25):
Yeah, time wise, Yeah, it was private thing for you,
and it was like probably about it.

Speaker 3 (10:29):
I don't know, we you know, we could look this up,
I guess. But it's around eight o'clock, nine o'clock when
that first walk.

Speaker 2 (10:34):
And see, that's why I love America as well.

Speaker 1 (10:37):
It was like we got a live prime time right,
we got to let the world adjust.

Speaker 2 (10:42):
That's what fun. Everybody else we need time.

Speaker 1 (10:45):
We want primetime TV audience for America say that.

Speaker 3 (10:48):
Yeah, that's another reason, yeah, to come to America. But
I remember saying that. I was like, I not only
wanted to grow up to do that, I want to
grow up to be those guys. I wanted to be
like Neil Armstrong, right, I did. Yeah, I met him.

Speaker 2 (11:03):
Yeah, he's he's awesome. He was.

Speaker 3 (11:05):
He was just great. So the first time I met him, Craig,
do you have time for a story here?

Speaker 2 (11:10):
So I met him.

Speaker 3 (11:10):
It was my first week as an astronaut. Can you imagine.
He was in town for his physical, his annual physical,
and our training coordinator reached out to was, Hey, you
want to come speak to these new astronauts. So he
said sure. So he was. He was almost like painfully shy. Yeah,
and he didn't even talk about the moon. He talked
about flying the X fifteen and so on. And then

we went to Q and A. We asked him about
the moon landing. Of course my first question was about that.
But I saw him the next day in the cafeteria
and I go up through I hat to like say
something to him. I didn't want to bother going up
to him, so I introduced myself and I said, Neil,
you know, I asked you something. How did you come
up with that thing you said on the moon? You know,
I think he said on one small set from man
one shine leaf. I was like, did your wife tell

you to say that? How did you come up with that.
Did you hire a publicist? And he looks at me,
you know, kind of awkwardly. He says, no, Mike, I
didn't think about it until I landed on the moon.
I'm like, really yeah, And I'm like, that's exactly what
I said. Are you kidding me? And he says, Mike,
if I didn't land on the moon, there'd be no
reason to say anything.

Speaker 2 (12:10):

Speaker 3 (12:10):
And then he got serious with me, Craig, and he said, look,
you're new to this business, Mike, but you know this
is a serious business, and bad things happen when you
get distracted. Stick to your job, stick to business and
worry about all that publicity stuff. After he's like you
got it, I'm like, I got it. So years later, Craig,
I got asked to send the first tweet from space.
Oh that's right, first week from space. Right, and we

have our final press conference and I get asked, what
have you thought about what you're going to tweet? And
I'm like, I channeled the armstrong man. I can picture
my imo. I feel like I had a crew cut
like he did. Yeah, I just channeled him, and I said,
I'm not thinking about that. We've got to get the
space first. If we don't get the space, there's gonna
be no reason to tweet anything. I'm not worrying about
that at all. I wait till we got I'll worry
about that when we get there. So we get to space.

I open up the computer and I'm looking at that
screen and I realized, Craig, that advice I got from
our hero was the worst advice I ever got in
my life. I couldn't think of a damn thing. And
then I'm saying to myself, there's no way he thought
of that.

Speaker 2 (13:06):
On the moon. Everyone was listening. Everyone, you're saying, you listening.
Everyone around the world won here totally. Everyone knew where
he was, who he was, and what he was going
to say.

Speaker 3 (13:15):
Here I am float up. A few people knew who
I was, but no one's really paying attention. You didn't
know where I was. No one's listening, you know, space, Yeah,
but I didn't know what. And I'm saying, no one's
paying attention to me. And I can't think of a thing.
He must have lied to me. You know what I
wanted to tweet. I wanted to tweat curse you, Neil.
I'm sure you didn't do that I didn't do that.
I wrote what So what I did is I whatever
came to mind I put it. Launch was awesome. I'm

feeling great and enjoining the view. The adventure of a
lifetime has begun. That was on a Monday. On Saturday.
They made fun of me on Saturday Night Live on
Weekend up Dates. Seth Myers is there. I didn't notice
what was going on. I'm in space working and he goes, hey,
we have the first tweet from space, and here it is.
Launch was awesome. In forty years, we've gone from one

giant leap from mankind to launch was awesome. And then
he continues and he says, I assume if we if
we ever find life in the universe, I assume this
is how we'll be notified. And it shows my little
Twitter thing that says, geez dudes, aliens, I don't.

Speaker 2 (14:13):
Notice is the way fair.

Speaker 3 (14:14):
The way I found fent out about this was my kids,
who are like in middle school in high school. They
are apparently very excited about this, and so they sent me.
They sent me some email and like, Dad, they made
fun of you on Saturday Night.

Speaker 2 (14:26):
Loud, which is kind of awesome, and you gave me a.

Speaker 3 (14:29):
Lot of credit and they're like all the kids at
school loved it. Keep up the good work. I finally
got somebody that.

Speaker 1 (14:33):
Got to your kids, so they weren't compressed that you
were going to space.

Speaker 3 (14:36):
Did not, they didn't, but they were excited to get that.
I got made fun of for the first tweek, but
I got that advice from Neil Armstrong.

Speaker 2 (14:52):
You know, it's funny. I've met a few of the
guys that have been on the moon, and a lot
of them have you know, most of them have gone.
I just lost a couple.

Speaker 3 (14:59):
Yea, well that didn't ken maddingly Yeah, who didn't walk
on the moon but went to the moon twice and
then it didn't land.

Speaker 2 (15:04):
And Frank Borman yeah, Paula wait just recently died too. Yeah, yeah,
I mean buzz is still he's still around. He's still
around and crazy aer than a bed bug. But you're
going to see Charlie Duke later this week.

Speaker 3 (15:17):
Yeah, if you're in town, you may want to come
by tomorrow whatever, but he's going to be having to
see him.

Speaker 2 (15:22):
He's he was on a policy giving me Jim lovel Yes,
he's still around. Yeah, an amazing character. Do you know what.
I have a story about that.

Speaker 1 (15:29):
So I went to the Living Legends of Aviation dinner
in California a few years ago.

Speaker 2 (15:35):
Yeah, have you ever been to that thing? No, I've
never been. I've never been this. I mean it's crazy.

Speaker 1 (15:40):
Was there and Car there and Tom Cruise is there,
and it's like all these like celebrity.

Speaker 2 (15:45):
Pilots are there, you know, and never Morton is there.

Speaker 1 (15:48):
It's crazy and it's all these like, you know guys
that flew choppers are nam It's like, it's crazy. And
the person that was being onner, Jim Lovel's being on
her nice for you know, bringing the Paul thirteen around
the moon and bringing it back. And Sally sellen Burger
is getting is giving him the owner. So so Sully

gets up and he says that he said, I never
met uh, never met Jim before this evening, only just
met him backstage. But he is the gentleman who told
me everything you need to know about aviation.

Speaker 2 (16:19):
M H. I was like, and he's he said, and
here's what it is.

Speaker 1 (16:25):
No matter how bad things are, no matter how close
death may appear, you gotta sound cool on the radio.

Speaker 2 (16:34):
You think about it. We have a problem you know.
I mean it's not.

Speaker 1 (16:43):
It's like you used to me have a problem and
then selling burger is like this is a bunch of
It's like, no, I'm going to be in the huts.
Say again, going the huts And what did I mean
that piece of flying? I'm amazing.

Speaker 2 (17:01):

Speaker 1 (17:01):
I think people think that that was something to do
with like the plane can do that on his own
or something. I mean what that man did without plane
in the huts, and that's an easy piece of flying.
The decisions he made unbelievable so quickly. Good training, good training.

Speaker 3 (17:15):
But the way he was able to make those that
quickly because there wasn't much time. He lost both those
engines and.

Speaker 1 (17:21):
It was like it was unprecedented, was like a huge
flock of birds went through the engines.

Speaker 3 (17:25):
And he says he looked back at LaGuardia and all
he saw between him and the field was humanity, people
in the bronx, people living.

Speaker 2 (17:33):
And it's like, that's not going to want to miss it.

Speaker 3 (17:34):
Yeah, And I mean, if you if we had a
couple of days to figure this out, maybe we'd come
up with the right solution. Yeah, he had seconds, and
he came up with it. That's really the thing that's
amazing of how quickly.

Speaker 2 (17:44):
You did the right thing.

Speaker 1 (17:45):
Get I mean, if you're traveling at high speeds and
you know what you were doing for a living back
then you're traveling at high speeds all the time.

Speaker 2 (17:51):
I mean, how fast does that space station go? That's
seventeen five hundred miles an hour. I mean that's crazy.
I mean it doesn't look like he's doing that because you're.

Speaker 3 (17:59):
Yeah, no sense of it, right, No, there's no turbulence,
there's no wind, there's nothing, and there's no your visual cues,
like you know, as I timed it right as you
were coming we hit Baja California, set the timer hit
Miami eleven minutes later. So you know, that's pretty fast
coast and the coast, but you have no sensation of it.

You don't, you don't feel anything. And even coming back,
so we were coming back from more a bit on the
shuttle and you kind of got into this area in
the atmosphere where it's like being in a cloud, like
the partials are particles are excited, and it's just it
was just gray outside, right, and it's like being in
a cloud, no sensation of movement because there's no there's

no turbulence. There's still no atmosphere out there, still too high,
but you're still you're picking up the outer particles, but
you don't have you don't feel anything. It's still smooth,
no sensation of motion, nothing, nothing out the window. And
I look at the velocity indicator was still going about
twelve thousand miles an hour. Wow, but no sense of
it other than what the Struman said.

Speaker 2 (19:01):
That's insane.

Speaker 1 (19:01):
And of course that they shuttle landed with like, there's
no flaps on that thing, right.

Speaker 3 (19:07):
They had a body flap, they had they had controls,
but there's no power.

Speaker 1 (19:10):
No power on it. That's the flying brick they used
to call it. Correct, Yeah, yeah, yep. And it had
really very low lifted drag ratio so it came in,
had to come in really almost just like drop out
of the sky like a brick.

Speaker 2 (19:23):

Speaker 1 (19:23):
All right, So let's get let's get back to seven
year old Mikey, little Mikey in the playground.

Speaker 2 (19:27):
He wants to be an astronaut. So how do you
go from where'd you grow up again?

Speaker 3 (19:31):
Franklin Square, New York. So that's right just outside of
Queens right by Belmont Racetrack, that area.

Speaker 2 (19:36):
It's the Paris of America. It's a great place to
grow up. But yes, I didn't know it's the Paris
of America. Yeah, America.

Speaker 1 (19:45):
Yeah, yeah, that's right. Yes, what I have to say.
You know that when I first came to America. Yeah,
in nineteen seventy five, I'm thirteen years old.

Speaker 2 (19:55):
I go to a.

Speaker 1 (19:56):
Bowling alley with my cousins. We go to a bowling
alley in smith tywn Long No, that's okay, yeah, yeah,
that's right. So I go to smith Then, Long Island.
I'm thirteen years old, my god, and I'm from Scotland,
right from Scotland, Smithtown, Long Island. Yeah, I'm in a
bowling alley and someone says, do you want a root beer?
And I went, I didn't even know. I fucking I

thought it was like beer made out of potatoes or something,
so it's possible.

Speaker 2 (20:22):
Yeah, So so you want a root beer?

Speaker 1 (20:24):
I went yeah, and someone gave me a an American
sized beverage. So it's about the size of where I
live in Scotland. It's a root beer over crushed ice
and a bowling alley. Yeah, And every time I taste
root beer. I still remember that. I taste the root
beer and I'm.

Speaker 2 (20:41):
Like, God, damn, these people are fucking amazing. This is crazy.
So first you see moving on the moon.

Speaker 3 (20:47):
You want to come to America, right, and you're and
you get there and go to a bowling at.

Speaker 2 (20:52):
Bowling alley, root beer over crushed ice. That was right, Yeah,
that was right. That's total vindication. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (20:58):
So how do you get from seven year old Mikey
in Queens right to NASA sitting on the space shuttle
like ten nine eight six five four three two one, yeah,
and then boom or you don't even go to one
do They's like ten.

Speaker 2 (21:13):
One and lift offft they lift off? They yeah, yeah,
lift off like the Saturn five stuff.

Speaker 1 (21:19):

Speaker 2 (21:20):
Ignition, yeah, engines, there would be.

Speaker 3 (21:23):
It would be ignition sequence start at six. It would
be ten nine eight seven six, Ignition sequence start three
two one and lift You know how I know that
I did. I was a have a very exciting news
This is old news, but I was the voice of
missing mission control in the most recent Beavis and butt
Head movie Beavis and butt had do the universe. Mike,

judge me do that. So I got to so we
got behead and space right when they went to space
in the cartoon movie. I got to so but yeah,
they still do it like that. Ten and the lift offs.
That's what you say at zero, you say lift off?
And so yeah, all right, so you seven. Let's get
back to the place seven years old. Right, So little
Mikey then, Mikey's smart? Is he smart?

Speaker 2 (22:06):
Kid? Is he? All right? Yes? He was smart?

Speaker 1 (22:09):
Is he?

Speaker 2 (22:10):
He was?

Speaker 3 (22:10):
He liked math. He I'm talking about. I like math
when I was a little kid. Yeah, so that's gonna
go to math. I was a good student. I wasn't
a real genius or anything. But you worked hard. I
worked my I met my my fourth grade teacher after
I became an astronaut, all right, and I go back
to my elementary gat. So missus oco and so she was,

so she'll working. She was a very young teacher when
she was my teacher in fourth grade. And she said, oh,
you know, I told my kids, and I have two sons,
and I told him I was going to have lunch
with a former student who is now an astronaut. I go, oh, school,
and I go what they say? He goes, well, he
must have been smart, mom, And I go what you say.
And she said, well, I said, well, I'm sure he
was bright, but if he was really smart, I would

have remembered, is what she said. And she goes, I
went on to tell him that sometimes the smartest isn't
the most important thing now, and it's how you work
and work hard and.

Speaker 2 (23:05):
Absolutely do the right thing and so on.

Speaker 3 (23:07):
Right, so, absolutely the words of missus Oco, I was
probably bright, but I wasn't the smartest kid in that class.

Speaker 1 (23:13):
But you know, it's like when people talk about when
people go to Hollywood and they think that they're going
to make it because it's super talented, and yeah, of
course you're talented.

Speaker 2 (23:22):
Everybody he is talented here here is like talent.

Speaker 1 (23:25):
It's like the driver's license, you know, it's like everybody's
fucking talented. Yeah, what have you got? Do you have
a work ethic that people want to hang out with you?
Are you're going to fucking be on time? You're going
to be a douchebagh? Are you going to get the
work done? Are you going to prepare so that nobody's
waiting around for you to figure out out?

Speaker 2 (23:42):
Right? And it feels to me like maybe you have
that ethic as well, right, it's a work.

Speaker 3 (23:46):
I agree, and the little bit I know like through
you as as my friend and other people that are
in the entertainment business. It's the same thing because there
are so many great people that can do it. But
all those things apply and people don't always realize that.
But the entertainment business is relentlessly competitive. Man, You've got
to want it so bad to do that, which is

it shows you have to have that passion, which is
what I had for the space Permo that I.

Speaker 2 (24:12):
Was going to say it's going to be.

Speaker 1 (24:13):
I think being an astronaut is probably pretty competitive as
well as a little.

Speaker 3 (24:17):
Yeah, there's thousands of people that want to do it,
and you're gonna I got told I got rejected three times. Yeah,
I got I kind of forgot about I thought it
was impossible. I went and saw the right stuff. You
must have seen that. That's my favorite movie.

Speaker 2 (24:30):
That's a great movie. That's out of my favorite bit.

Speaker 1 (24:33):
It is you damn right, you damn right.

Speaker 2 (24:38):
It is sounds dangerous, It is dangerous. Count me in.

Speaker 3 (24:46):
I quoted that movie the whole that was We quoted
that movie on the on the launch pad.

Speaker 2 (24:50):
It was just the greatest movie.

Speaker 3 (24:52):
I love that movie and the book by Tom Wolf,
and that rekindled my interest. And then I went to
grad school trying to pursue the stream. I got rejected
ice out right. Third time I got an interview and
got rejected.

Speaker 1 (25:02):
So you you applied directly to NASA.

Speaker 3 (25:05):
Yes, everyone can. You can't as well. You're an American citizen,
you can apply.

Speaker 2 (25:09):
Yeah, I feel like I might have missed the boat
a little bit. I don't know.

Speaker 3 (25:12):
Man, Well, now with all these you know the commercial opportunities,
and you paid it, but maybe I don't know you
maybe the price comes down or maybe, like I mean,
you would you know, you're a celebrity and you have
a great interest in flying you.

Speaker 2 (25:28):
Someone will take me up. Someone.

Speaker 1 (25:30):
I don't see why not you call someone at NASA.
He's asked, I don't think NASA is the way to go.

Speaker 3 (25:36):
That's taxpayers money, billionaire. But then they got to you know, hey,
why are you flying that guy? They won't fly me
anymore neither. You got to have a mission. I guess
up there, Ah, that are a.

Speaker 1 (25:49):
Very wealthy friend, Like, yeah, I don't have any wealthy friends.

Speaker 2 (25:53):
You're the righteous guy, I know. Yeah, you're right, you're
out of look yeah.

Speaker 1 (25:57):
Okay, so I'm just trying to all right, so you
applied to NASA, right, So what did you study at school?

Speaker 2 (26:03):

Speaker 3 (26:04):
I was an engineering student. I was an industrial engineer
as an undergrad, and in grad school, mechanical engineering is
what I studied.

Speaker 2 (26:11):
All right.

Speaker 1 (26:11):
So you're a mechanical engineer, yes, qualified mechanical engineer, and
you eventually get accepted in the space program.

Speaker 2 (26:16):
Ye. So but you're not going to be flying the
bird up there, so what are you going to be doing?

Speaker 3 (26:21):
So back then, in the Shuttle days, there was actually
two categories of astronauts. One was the astronaut pilot, and
those were the traditional military test pilots.

Speaker 1 (26:32):
That's the guys who say beep when they finished talking.
That's right, guys, sounds dangerous. Those guys, the test pilots,
All the test pilots, they would be competitive for the
pilot job, and they were trained to fly the Shuttle,
to do the landings, to work all the all the
flying part of it. Because that was almost like a
completely different training flow than what mission specialists went through,

which is what I was so mission specialists was kind
of like a grab bag. So all the civilians also
some pilots too, who are military pilots, but we're not
selected as pilots.

Speaker 3 (27:04):
They could be selected as mission mission specialists. We are
the scientist engineers and we were trained to do spacewalks
and robotics and work experiments and also work the systems
on the Space Shuttle to help.

Speaker 1 (27:16):
So you have a work and knowledge of how to
repair and maintain the Space Shuttle.

Speaker 2 (27:22):
Is that the idea?

Speaker 3 (27:23):
Yeah, Well for us, it's like so it's like doing
the repair of it came in if you have damage
like in orbit and you need to go out and
do a space walk to do that. But it's mainly
just just working the systems. Work in communications, work in
the cooling systems, working all the different things for rendezvous.
It's not just a too. You have a pilot. They
don't have a pilot and cold pilot. We had a
commander and pilot don't wanted to go to col pilot.

Apparently if you have a commander and you have a pilot,
and then you had a bunch of missing specialists. So
we would help with the rendezvous. We would work the
Space Shuttle robot arm we would do the spacewalks, be
primarily responsible for the experiments, but also know enough about
the space I'll say that we could be helpful. We
were also trained as flight engineer. So you have the
two people up front were flying, and then a person

in the middle, like and the old airplanes just have
like yeah the game. So you had yeah, that person,
you had another person next to them. You have two
MISSUS specialists behind the pilots who had assist with helping
with emergencies and reminding of you in the check.

Speaker 1 (28:21):
You go like checklists to go through, like at the
start of a mission, like you do this one you do.
Everyone talks to each other, do you check the checklist?

Speaker 3 (28:30):
All that stuff, especially in the Shuttle dates, it was
all manually flown. Everything was done manually. And the pilot
on my first light Dwane Carry Digger, this guy from
Air Force, Digger Carry was an A ten pilot and
then an F sixteen pilot, a military test but cool guy,
really cool haircut. So Digger good friend of mine. I
asked him a couple of years ago, how much of

your training to fly in space did you not use
in space as training as a pilot because they had
to know every emergency they had The percent he did
not use. He said, ninety nine point nine percent of
the stuff that I used that I was trained for
I never used in space because typically everything goes okay.

Speaker 2 (29:09):
Well I mean that, But that's learning the fly a plane,
isn't it You learned.

Speaker 1 (29:11):
That's why it's so terrifying, because you learn all the
scary stuff and you know, probably never use it. That's right,
you know, but you better know it. You better know it.

Speaker 3 (29:21):
But now with the newer systems like the SpaceX Falcon
for example, right, that is not the Dragon and Falcons launchy,
but the Dragon spaceship that is so automated that it's
it's a completely different situation. You don't have to know
all these things like we did with it. It reduces
the training flow down to hard time. With that, I'll

tell you why. Because of redundancies.

Speaker 1 (29:43):
If everything is in automated, so an automated redundancy program
kicks and if one system fails, and then if that
system feels typically in aviation, it's like three redundancies. Right,
But if they were running through the same program, Yeah,
I feel like that isn't three redundancies, that's one redundancy.

Speaker 3 (30:04):
Well, the pilot is still the is still the backup there,
they still get trained to handle some things, right. But
what we found like there were things like we would say, oh,
astronauts need to and the new spaceship need to control
these one hundred things, and and he would come back
and he say, wow, for like, let's say ninety of
these things, there's a greater chance of you killing yourself

as opposed to the automation. Hand. Okay, we the automation,
but there's always there's a few things that that people
will always be able to do. I think as the
as the backup to the backup to the backup.

Speaker 1 (30:36):
Has technology changed, like the AI changed the space program immensely,
it has it?

Speaker 3 (30:42):
I think so, yes, it makes easier, it does, yeah,
And I think it does make it safer because it's
your The design of the spaceships are safer too. The
Shuttle was a dangerous spaceship. The odds of total destruction
and loss of crew were one out of seventy five.

Speaker 2 (30:57):
We saw that.

Speaker 3 (30:58):
We saw that twice, right, major accidents, and you would
keep losing them if you kept flying them, eventually something
else would happen.

Speaker 2 (31:03):
They were getting old.

Speaker 1 (31:04):
That's an unaccepted level that is not good.

Speaker 2 (31:09):
You know, no, that's not good, right.

Speaker 3 (31:11):
So, but the newest you think of it, the shuttle,
it had its its thermal protection system was exposed, which
is how we lost the second, the second Space Shuttle.
Even your borch you had to come back to the
launch site or you had to go across the ocean
to make it to you needed a runway where and
you couldn't separate from the stack until after until after

a few minutes. You could not just get out of
there when it was a problem. You couldn't abort from
the stack got full. That's a flying bomb. It's a
flying bombing. Only the only even the only abortion earraws
we had was after the solid rocket boosters left, and
that was two minutes in. There was no abort before then.
You would, did you when you're going up? You sweat
for the first couple of minutes, Yeah, the first couple
of the It was more you know what it really was.

It was scary looking at that spaceship man after me
on my first one way to yeah, standing outside of it.
You know, we arrived there was a night launched my
first one, and we got out there in the middle
of the night and you know it was dark, which is,
you know, so scary and darker, and it's no one
around the place is deserted because they put fuel in there,
and because you have a bomb sitting there, you know,

and they won't get out of there. There's only a
few people and we get it's all lit up really
brightly and all the support structures. It looks like a
space ship. And it's this smoke coming off of it.
It's just a water vapor. Yeah, and yeah, and you
hear these really you hear that, and you hear like
this groans. I think it's like the crygenic fuel going. Yeah,
and it looked like it looked like an angry beast, right,

and it sounded angry. And looking up at that thing,
and that night, and after all these years of you know,
you were saying, since we were little kids dreaming of
doing this, you know, it hit me maybe this wasn't
such a good idea, right, Yeah. I had to get
on once I Once I got on, I was okay.
And that was once you get in there, it seems normal,
really weird. It's like thinking about it is worse than
doing it. But we were all well trained. We had

stuff to think about and stuff to do, and we
had emergency placards, and the emergency placards were like, right,
once we took off, I realized I had no control
over this thing.

Speaker 2 (33:10):
It's either going to be.

Speaker 3 (33:11):
A good day or a bad day, right, And I
was looking at that placard which tells us what to
you know, unstrapped, remove your calm, pull the green apple
which is oxygen, all these things. I'm like, this is
just something there to read while.

Speaker 2 (33:21):
We died, you know.

Speaker 3 (33:23):
And that was like my suggestion was like, why don't
you get a couple of magazines or something up here,
because this.

Speaker 2 (33:28):
Ain't going to help you.

Speaker 3 (33:29):
You know, this is not what I want to be
looking at my last couple of seconds here.

Speaker 1 (33:32):
So you get There's one thing you talked to me about.
You do the rendezvous in space, and it just occurd
to me. If you're traveling the super high speed seventeen
thousand miles an hour so fast, and you're connecting with
another vessel that is traveling at that correct so if
that goes wrong, that's a fucking mess.

Speaker 3 (33:53):
Right away, you're flying in formation at that speed. And
it was a manually flown rendezvous with the show. So
these pilots, man these pilots like the guys you were
saying at that aviation event that you're at, these are
the best pilots.

Speaker 2 (34:07):
In the world that are doing this stuff. I'm so crazy.
But you're flying in formation at seventeen thou five miles
an hour.

Speaker 1 (34:14):
So when you do it with another another space ship,
our space ship comes up at that point, do you
get a sense of perception about the speed or because
they are traveling the same speed, they've.

Speaker 3 (34:24):
Traveled in the same so it's all relative and it's
it's like kind of you know, you travel, if you've
flown in formation with another airplorant, you're going quite fast
relative to that other airplane. Your whole world's that other
airplane doing that. And you might look at the air
speed and scare yourself because you're flying, but it's kind
of like that. You don't realize that you're going that
that quickly.

Speaker 1 (34:44):
That's amazing. And you were up there for a long time, right,
not by today's standards. It was twelve days and fourteen
days my two missions. Right now, these guys are up
in there six months. We had one dude, my friend
Scott Kelly, was there for nearly a year. Frank Rubio
just returned after a year. He got stuck there for
a while. A year, Yeah, over a year in space. Like,

first of all, what exercises you doing it?

Speaker 2 (35:07):
Keep it?

Speaker 3 (35:08):
So when we were there, we we you know, a
couple of weeks is of that bunch of a big deta.
You're not you're not going to atrophy laying around for
It's kind of like you're in bedrestling in zero gravity.
We were space walking, that's exercise. And we had like
we'd like these sterr bands, try to keep some of
your muscle and you know, the things you pull on,
you know. And then and we had a bike to
ride ergometer, a stationary kind of peloton type thing. Yeah,

it was a NASA's own invention. Yeah, peloton would have
been a step up. There's something like that now probably, Yeah,
they probably have a Starbucks up there now. You can't
get good coffee when I was an astronaut, though, you
don't want to be dependent on.

Speaker 1 (35:45):
I also think being a little caffeinated in space and
you really didn't get nothing to do, it's probably not
a great.

Speaker 2 (36:00):
Let me as this. You're talking about doing space walks.

Speaker 1 (36:02):
You've done space walks, yes, So you go out this
is a vehicle traveling at seventeen thousand miles A.

Speaker 2 (36:05):
No, yes, quite fast.

Speaker 1 (36:07):
So you're getting out of this vehicle, right, you are
also traveling at seventeen an hour. Yes, no, but you're
not experiencing any sense of motion because there's no friction.

Speaker 3 (36:18):
There's yeah, and there's no reference either. Looking at the planets,
you're like, oh, that's but it's so far. It's you know,
far away from you. So it's kind of when you're
flying and you come up to a cloud, right, you know,
you think you're going maybe you're going you know, and
then all of a sudden you come up to this cloud.

Speaker 2 (36:31):
Yeah, it's gone. Yeah, that's like freeze.

Speaker 3 (36:34):
Well, if you're in if you got stuff going by
in a cloud, WHOA, what's going on here? It's like,
I'm going fast right when you're out in the open space,
you don't necessarily still get it right, yeah, So that
we don't have any turbulence or any of that. So
there's no queue to let your brain know that you're
going fast. So you're not except for the indication on
that instrument.

Speaker 1 (36:52):
So what about the psychological lyumpire. I mean you were
up there for a couple of weeks. That's even a
couple of minutes. For me, it would be. There's questions
you ask yourself, Man, you I mean you, you're like,
who am I? Where am I? In the sense of things? Here,
I'm like, you get to see the universe and like
you get a sense of how small you are and

the and how small our planet is the sense of things.
Did it do a number on you or any of
your buddies? Psychologically? The people do the Do they even
debrief you with that stuff?

Speaker 2 (37:23):
We don't. It's not.

Speaker 3 (37:24):
You may talk amongst yourselves, but it's not. It's more
something that's of interest to people outside of NASA.

Speaker 2 (37:30):
I think when they ask us about that, it's interesting.

Speaker 3 (37:32):
But I never felt small man, because you look this
planet we have, it is beautiful.

Speaker 2 (37:38):
It is right compared to.

Speaker 1 (37:40):
The other planets frozen crap.

Speaker 3 (37:46):
I mean really, the worst place that you can imagine
on our planet is a paradise on Mars man, compared to.

Speaker 2 (37:52):
You, right, although I've had this idea for Mars.

Speaker 1 (37:56):
See you think like I think, we go to Mars
it's off a bunch of nukes, yeah, and create an atmosphere.

Speaker 2 (38:05):
What do you think did it work? I don't know.
I just thought it might be cool, but at.

Speaker 3 (38:10):
Least yeah, yeah, I don't know.

Speaker 2 (38:16):
I don't know.

Speaker 1 (38:17):
Maybe put some like water in the bombs and then
like that would get an atmosphere, you know, you know it's.

Speaker 3 (38:23):
I don't know if that would work or not, but
it's it's it's that outside of the box thinking is
what we need. Well, not necessarily, but that's that's very creative.
Have you asked anyone beside me about this that you submitted?

Speaker 2 (38:36):
Maybe it is.

Speaker 1 (38:36):
Look, I'm asking you because you have a degree, I do,
you went to college, You've written books, and I'm going
to ask you because I know we can side tracked
with little Mike becoming an astronaut. So you get a
book by the way, too, Well it's a book about
her becoming a national But interestingly, because I talked to
you when you come in, I saw you were wearing
a suit. Now I'm like, there was a fancy suit,

and I'm like, very fancy. Yes you look fancy. And
you tell me you were speaking to a bunch of businessmen. Yes, motivation,
you do a lot of that now.

Speaker 3 (39:05):
I do. Yeah, I do a few of those a month.
I've got three this week, So it's a busy week
for that.

Speaker 1 (39:11):
So and you talk to people about decision, make it
under pressure.

Speaker 3 (39:15):
Yeah, all kinds of things. Today, it was about leadership,
like how we ok leadership promoting people.

Speaker 2 (39:20):
Were you in charge when you were in the Space Station.

Speaker 3 (39:22):
No, I was not the commander of the spaceship, but
I wasn't for other projects that I worked on at NASA.
For my space walks, I was the lead on my spacewalks.
So the commander of the of the Space Shuttle was
it was our commander who was a pilot. It was
commander of the missions for the space station. Though it
doesn't have to be a military test pilot who's in charge.
But I never was at the space station, but we

had other you know, like I was. I was the
lead guy from my spacewalks and for other projects that
I worked on. So I talked about some of the
lessons that I learned there about leadership.

Speaker 2 (39:52):
Tell me about that. Then, what did you learn about leaders.

Speaker 3 (39:54):
So I learned this from Alan Bean, who was the
fourth person to walk on them. I think I'm at
them and you might he's an artist as well.

Speaker 2 (40:03):
Yeah, yeah, I'm pretty sure amazing person. Yeah, So he drew.

Speaker 3 (40:06):
He painted these amazing landscapes of his experiences. And very
nice man. He passed unfortunately a few years ago.

Speaker 2 (40:14):
I didn't mean him.

Speaker 3 (40:14):
Yeah, but he told me that the key to being
a good leader was to find a way to care
for and admire everyone on your team. So you have
to figure out a way for every one of those
everyone who you're who's looking up to you, that you're leading,
figure out a way to care for and admire each
one of them. And they have to know that you
care about them. And if you find someone that you

just don't like, right, don't think of it is that
you don't like them. Think of it as if you
don't know them well enough, and take the time to
get to know them and get that good thought. I
call it in the book I write about it is
like your bank of good thoughts. Try to get a
good thought about everybody. So when they do something that
might aggravate you, or they do something wrong, go there

first for that good thought before you address the problem.

Speaker 2 (41:01):
You live your life like that. I try.

Speaker 3 (41:04):
I try to do that, and I have a different
approach in the car.

Speaker 1 (41:07):
That's a different approach in the car.

Speaker 2 (41:10):
The driver. Yeah, that's what I'm not going to scream
at him or you know, you know what I mean.
But you never know who the driver is. You never
know what it could be you next to me, you know,
you know what I could be in it. I always I.

Speaker 1 (41:21):
Always try to think that maybe it's like a nurse
or a doctor and he or she is like getting
somewhere or just come from something really hard, or you know,
like try and get it in perspective. Yes, I don't
always manage that. I got to be honest, It depends.
I drive around a lot here in New York. I
don't really drive here, and I don't mind it.

Speaker 3 (41:41):
But you've got to have patients because people are working.
People are either there driving people, places are unloading things.
People are in there, living out there in the streets. Man, well,
you don't want to hold them up. It's God understand.

Speaker 1 (41:51):
It's a funny thing about New York. I mean, it's funny.
I was talking to a friend of mine. I said,
you know, I'm moving back to New York because I'm
in New York, like a really yeah. And a lot
of the time I'm in New York and so up
near you. Actually yeah, yeah, all right, so you.

Speaker 3 (42:06):
Probably don't want to give away your address in the
general area.

Speaker 2 (42:10):
I'm on the Upper east Side right right.

Speaker 3 (42:13):
It's if I knew about the Upper east Side. I
never wanted to go to space. Don't you love that greatest?
It is like Disneyland greatest neighbor steroids for older people.

Speaker 2 (42:23):
Unbelievable. I love it. I'm telling you.

Speaker 1 (42:25):
You can get to a drug store, you can get
a big old nice people. This Dorman everywhere, keeping an
eye on Dorman are everywhere.

Speaker 2 (42:33):
It's awesome. You know what those dogs? You know what
I discovered here?

Speaker 1 (42:37):
You you like to drive. So here's the thing I discovered.
It's a parking ticket twice a week, sixty five bucks.

Speaker 2 (42:44):
That's it to park on the street. Yeah, but you
only get a parking ticket twice a week. Yes, that's
the cheapest fucking parking in New York. This is a
true statement.

Speaker 1 (42:52):
Yeah, so you just illegally park pay your tickets.

Speaker 2 (42:55):
This is and you may not even get a ticket.
You might not you might not even have to pay.
You might not get it anyway. Look absolutely right. But
I still I park on the street a lot. I
have to.

Speaker 3 (43:05):
I have spots in the garage, but I also park
on the street lot. To me, it's like a hobby.
Where to park when you know I know that I
have the streets memorized. Now you know where it is,
where the hydrant is, where the driveways are, and you
like something to do.

Speaker 1 (43:19):
Hobby, got to know. So I said to someone, I
spent a lot more time in New York. Like, no,
for tax reasons, I can't spend all my year.

Speaker 2 (43:26):
In New York, but I spent. Yeah, but I found
out about that too, so I you know, I'm less
than one hundred and eighty days a year in New
York City. Genius.

Speaker 1 (43:36):
But I said to someone I'm going back to New York.
And he said, you hate people. Why would you go
to a place that's full of people.

Speaker 2 (43:43):
I said, it's New York.

Speaker 1 (43:44):
Everybody hates people in New York, where, amongst their own times.

Speaker 3 (43:49):
No one takes offense to that.

Speaker 2 (43:52):
Get out of the way.

Speaker 1 (43:53):
You get out of the way, Okay, okay, yeah, it's
it's the way it is.

Speaker 2 (43:58):

Speaker 1 (43:59):
And I was I was talking to Eleana Douglas today,
you know, the actress, and Ileana Duncan's.

Speaker 2 (44:04):
A great actress and real New Yorker.

Speaker 1 (44:06):
And I said to her, I think what happens is
if you are like if you come to New York
because I lived in LA for twenty three years. Yeah,
she lived in LA for like fourteen years. But if
you're a New Yorker, it doesn't matter what. It's kind
of like the I R S like, it doesn't matter
where you go. It it doesn't matter where you go,
They're going to come and get you.

Speaker 2 (44:27):
And yeah, oh god, yeah yeah yeah, yeah. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (44:30):
It's like I tried living in Scotland. I'm like, yeah,
but you're an American syst.

Speaker 3 (44:33):
Yeah you're like, no, well that's very n I'm not
a CPA or anything. But I am amazed that the
creative ways that they'll get money from. My God, no
one can afford to live here yet. How many people
do we have? Ten million? Yeah here and.

Speaker 2 (44:49):
Know, yeah, I don't know how it's done. Yeah, how
we do it? You know, you just have to take
turns living here.

Speaker 1 (44:56):
You just have to find out how much they're going
to let you've been here, and it's like I take
a little less, and then that's.

Speaker 2 (45:04):
What it is.

Speaker 1 (45:05):
So now then at this point in your life, you
know the same age, and I kind of I'm not retired.
I couldn't retire. I tried sort of retire. It drove me,
It threw me crazy. I hated you know, I started
doing like home improvement and all that.

Speaker 2 (45:21):
It's awful.

Speaker 1 (45:22):
Yeah, it's overrated, putting up shelves and stuff that. It's
it's it with my wife. Well that's nice, it's great, Yeah,
but too much. I started ir Yeah, I've noticed that
if I'm there too long, it's kind of like, don't
you Yeah, Now.

Speaker 2 (45:43):
I didn't marry you for lunch, so what do you?
What do you do? Like? You do the speaking engagements? Now?

Speaker 3 (45:51):
Yeah, I really like and that yeah, and and that
stuff has been you know, we talked about leadership or teamwork,
whatever we're going to talk about. And that's how the
book came about, was through that stuff. In that speaking
what resonated with you at the Autist should probably have
a podcast every realized book.

Speaker 2 (46:04):
I tried it.

Speaker 3 (46:06):
I did it with a buddy of mine. It was
called this Other Astronaut, Garrett Reasman. It was called two
Funny Astronauts. Yeah, because the two of us. And it
was all right, But that's that's to keep making them.
You gotta keep making We did like twenty five of
them like, ah that we're out of it. So we
kind of like that. But but I do. I teach
at Columbia. I'm on the faculty there.

Speaker 2 (46:24):
That's a pretty fancy joke. You wear a fancy suit
to that.

Speaker 3 (46:28):
Uh yeah, not really, though it's kind of it's a
little more the fancy suits for more of the speaking engagements.

Speaker 2 (46:32):
But but I'm a professor there. Yep.

Speaker 1 (46:36):
That's so, are you, doctor, Mike? I am why I
got my PhD. So that's very impressive. Maybe you should
do advice on TV. No, I don't know. I uh
don't to Mike.

Speaker 2 (46:48):
Yeah, I'm trying make him do advice on your podcast.
Get any advice here?

Speaker 1 (46:52):
All right, So here's here's the thing, dog to Mike. Right, So,
sometimes I feel so insignificant and small, all in the
vastness of the universe, right, and I worry about God
and if he's there or she's there or you know,
and I just I have a lot of existantial anks.

Now you've been a space doctor, Mike, Yes, how should
I cope with that?

Speaker 3 (47:17):
I would worry so much about that. I would try
to enjoy the planet while you can't. Ah, right, And
I don't think we're insignificant. I think that looking at
our planet from space and then you know, you look out.
We were talking about those other planets out there. I
mean you look to the blackness in the other direction.
You know, we've checked out the neighborhood. We've got nowhere
to go. We've got to make this planet work. And
it's fragile. You can see the thinness of the atmosphere,

but it is an absolute paradise. And Jim Lovell, we
mentioned him earlier, Yes, I was telling him about this.
I go, you know, it's like looking into heaven. It's beautiful.
You know, you look at our I can't imagine anything
like it. Yeah, anywhere else, you know, I think there's
life other places, but it's so beautiful. And he said,
Jim level told me, goes, Mike, you know a lot
of people hope that when they die they'll go to heaven.

I'm convinced where we were all born there, and so
I think we should. After that experience I had of
looking in space and looking at the planet, we're really
we really have it pretty good here. Even if you
don't live on the uppers side, we have it. We
should try to and that's what I would that would
be my advice to try to be amazed by what
we have right now around us. And there's a lot

of crap going on. I'm sure you know there's a
lot of bad things going on, but we are really
given an opportunity here to live on in a beautiful paradise.

Speaker 2 (48:32):
Are you a religious man? I'm a spiritual person.

Speaker 3 (48:35):
I'm kind of a fallen Catholic at this point, but
I believe I should believe there's a.

Speaker 2 (48:42):
That's but here's what I yeah, I got one for you.

Speaker 3 (48:45):
Are you Craig if I can ask, I know it's
your a podcast.

Speaker 1 (48:49):
A religious person, I think religion is a human vanity, right, okay,
but I think the idea of a divine nature of
the universe totally.

Speaker 2 (48:58):
I'm with you.

Speaker 3 (48:58):
I think there's something going on, so at at least
that's wearing interpret things. It allows me to interpret things.

Speaker 1 (49:03):
So I heard, I read this thing about the early
Christian mystics, pre Roman Christian desert mothers and fathers, Saint
Anthony Abbe Pima, origin of Alexandria, and the Vagaries of Pontus,
a lot of different people.

Speaker 2 (49:21):
I think, fancy, Yes, you're Catholic, so maybe you should.
But here's the thing.

Speaker 1 (49:28):
Well, they were pre Catholic, though they were pre Church Christians,
pre Roman Church Christians. The Origin of Alexandria said God
is in silence. Silence is God. And I was thinking
about that, and I was watching a YouTube thing with.

Speaker 2 (49:46):
One of my boys when I was little, and it
was one of those YouTube things.

Speaker 1 (49:50):
It was extrapolating from like a blade of grass all
the way out to the size of the university.

Speaker 2 (49:55):
It was like animated and all that. One of these things.

Speaker 1 (49:56):
He ended up watching my ten year old kids, and
it was talking about the black holes in the universe
and the life of the universe, and that the universe really,
you know, when it comes down to it, in the
and it'll be about mostly black holes, mostly black holes
which are completely silent and nothing happens there. An Origin

of Alexandria two thousand years ago said God is silence
and there's nothing happening.

Speaker 2 (50:27):
That's what it is.

Speaker 1 (50:28):
So I think the science and theology, which is not
dogmatic but a genuine quest to try and explain your existence,
I think they're both the same thing.

Speaker 3 (50:43):
I happen to agree with you. I think that there's
no reason why they need to be in conflict. And
I think the more we learn, the closer we get
to the truth. And I think that's that's what we'll
find out. I think that I think the truth is
what we're seeking. And when we go to space actually
when we're exploring, observing, trying to figure out what's going on,
and I think it'll bring us back to that, bring

up it is. And there's no reason why I can't
coexist and agree. It doesn't have to. I think that's right.

Speaker 1 (51:09):
And I think the only reason that the only times
that doesn't agree is when you get people that are
not prepared to accept new information. Yes, so you go, well,
well we have new information. I talked to it before
one of my kids was born. I was talked about
my first boy was born. I was talking to the
obstetrician and I said to her, so, you know, she
was explaining something.

Speaker 2 (51:28):
About the baby this and that thing, and I was like,
oh God.

Speaker 1 (51:32):
And she said, I the thing that, and the heartbeat
this and thating like that. And I said, how much
of this stuff that you you know of the progress
from you know, conception to birth, how much of it
do we actually know about? She said, well, if you'd
asked me that you know, fifteen years ago, i'd have

said we know about fifty or sixty percent, Yeah, she said,
But now we've learned so much more, I'd say we
know about ten percent.

Speaker 2 (52:02):
I love it.

Speaker 1 (52:02):
Yeah, and I love it. Oh my god. That's a
real scientific answer. Yes, the more you know, the less
you find out what you don't know. Right, absolutely, so,
if you walk away from the experience you have in
your life, right, you've been in space, You've seen what
very few human beings have been prevalent enough to see,
and you've walked away with it, not only in type,

but with with.

Speaker 2 (52:25):
Like, I feel like you're an optimistic person. I feel
like a yeah, I would like to think that. Yeah. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (52:31):
So when the time comes for Mike's corporal tabernacle, for
the realm of which you physically possessed right now, what
do you what do you think happens?

Speaker 2 (52:44):
What do you think happens when it's time to shuffle
off this mortal when we die? Yeah? Yeah, I don't know.

Speaker 3 (52:49):
That's a great answer. I mean, I don't know, and
I hope it's good, but I don't. I don't know,
and we don't I don't you know, we have a
belief maybe of what happens. People have certain beliefs. So
that's why I think we got to make the most
of this. We've got to think, you know, and I
I do believe we're in a paradise. And and Dan Brown,

the author so that you know, DaVinci Code Guy, was
having a similar conversation with him, and he said, you know,
like God has given us a paradise to live, and
everyone wants to die and go to heaven.

Speaker 2 (53:21):
Like this place sucks. I want out. This is terrible.

Speaker 3 (53:24):
But if you look at it, gave us this beautiful
if you believe in God and you and you think
of the creation that we have, it is a beautiful
place with opportunities to do good and to help people,
and to to create laughter and intertain people like you do,
and to to have a you know, to love people
and be nice and enjoy well, it's a wonderful place.
What what would be different about heaven than what we

could have here if you look at it here.

Speaker 1 (53:49):
But what you'd have to do is everyone have to
live in there everywhere.

Speaker 3 (53:56):
That's really you're getting us in trouble with you. We
gotta we gotta restrict this podcast to a certain zip.
I mean other people are gonna.

Speaker 2 (54:06):
Come for us. You know that's right.

Speaker 1 (54:07):
The West Village go, fuck you, well, fuck you West
Upper west Side.

Speaker 2 (54:15):
All right, we gotta go, Mike. It was a pleasure,
and I do want to plug your book one very much.

Speaker 1 (54:21):
Moonshot and NASA Astronauts Guide to Achieving the.

Speaker 2 (54:24):
Impossible, Craig is great scene. Let me see you make
always a pleasure.
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