Meet Michael Massimino, the Real Life Astronaut Played by Goerge Clooney

David Muir sits down with real-life hero who inspired the movie "Gravity."
2:57 | 10/04/13

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Transcript for Meet Michael Massimino, the Real Life Astronaut Played by Goerge Clooney
movie everyone is talking about, "gravity," one person who knows it, he's been up there, one of the real life heroes who helped inspire the movie. Our person of the week. The new movie "gravity" about to pull us back into a world beyond us, that hopeless breaking through boundaries and the fear of what's possible, too. Sunday ra bullock is playing an astronaut attached to that arm that comes loose from the shuttle. Her fellow astronaut played by george clooney, and what follows is a harrowing fictional tale, but what so many real life astronauts have prepared for. Including this team, may 2 thou 9, the shuttle atlantis, headed to repair the hubble telescope. The same telescope they travel to in the movie. In real life, one of the astronauts, michael massimino. Good to see you, mass. Great to see you. Who saw the movie and saw himself in it. Even my tools, we had a cutter tool to cut a wire inside one of the instruments, it's floating behind sandra bullock's head. There's my wire cutter. He spent more than 30 hours out there on a ledge. He said the views helped him describe it at home. The only sad thing about being an astronaut, david, when you look out the window, you look through your visor, and see the earth, you see the stars, how can I describe this to people? How can I tell my family about this? While bullock's character faces challenges far beyond what he lived through. They did prepare for it remembering what the lead space walker told him. He said we lost crews before. And one way we may lose another person is during a space walk. It's dangerous business. Watching each other's space suits. We button each other up, everyone is sealed, everyone is coming home. So we knew, that kind of set the mood. We knew these sorts of things can happen. There was a moment in space, mike became known for, trying to fix the telescope, when what was supposed to be a symptle bolt, wouldn't come free. I used my bigs power tool, the first two came out fine. The one on the left came out fine. The one on the right wasn't coming off. It was stripped and my heart just sunk, because of my blunder we'll never know if there is life on other planets. This is a pretty bad situation. They spent an hour, as he was dangling in space, the team there, and on the ground trying to figure out what to do. Finally telling him to grab the handrail on the telescope and pull the whole piece off. A good tug, and just ripped the thing off. His crisis averted. Tonight as this new fictional crisis plays out, mike remembering the beauty of looking down on his family. You have kids, right? I do, yes. You can tell if they let the lights on? If you're in heaven, this is what heaven must look like. I could not imagine anything more beautiful nan our planet. So we choose michael massimino showing up in that suit.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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