Mike Mongo

author | astronaut teacher

Hi! My name is Mike Mongo and I'm an astronaut teacher. I'm author of children's book The Astronaut Instruction Manual.

I'm also vice-president of interstellar space science maker group & non-profit Icarus Interstellar, and strategic director for biennial interstellar space science summit, Starship Congress. What more, I serve as At-Large Board Member as an active student member of Students for Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS). And I am one of the co-founders of Yuri's Night Space Coast at Kennedy Space Center.

I'm from Key West, FL, where I live with my wife Leonie and a number of mysterious feral cats who stop in frequently for cat food and meow meow talk.  

When I was growing up I wanted to be a superhero or astronaut. Growing up to become an astronaut teacher is both!

The best part of my job as astronaut teacher is knowing and sharing how important space exploration is for the future of humankind and planet Earth. We can solve every challenge we face on earth today–energy, health, sustainability, equality, inclusion, even the illusion of scarcity–by solving for space. 

Most of my time is spent teaching in schools and connecting with students in classrooms around the world. My goal is to make sure that every student I connect with importantly understands 1) tomorrow's jobs are in space and 2) they now have permission to live, work, and play in space.

And, yes, my glasses are upside down! I had them made that way.

Remember: Getting people's attention is easy. What's hard is having something to say worth hearing afterwards.

Photographer: Archena Dabney

School: Orlando Science Elementary School