By Susan Li
The concrete halls of the mechanical engineering department are decked in dim grey blocks and starved of natural light, but Mike Massimino’s office feels lively. Inside, the walls are lined with tidy rows of memorabilia: photos of Massimino’s crew in their space station hailing from his two missions, a proper portrait of him beaming in his space suit, and awards written in dramatic typefaces, adorned in heavy golden frames. There are more eclectic objects too, like a plush Snoopy that grins at me from the corner of Massimino’s desk, donning a clear astronaut’s helmet. This space holds an entire universe—spanning from intimidating-looking official letters to objects like Snoopy that seem almost like inside jokes, winking at whomever ventures into this abode....