NASA Astronaut Dr. Sandra Magnus will speak at the SciFest St. Louis October 22, 10-11a.m., at the St. Louis Science Center. On July 21, 2011, Magnus returned on the Shuttle Atlantis from the 135th and final mission of NASA’s Space Shuttle Program, a mission to deliver supplies to the International Space Station. We are proud to welcome our local hero -- born in Belleville, IL, and a graduate of University of Missouri, Rolla – to share stories from 15 years of adventures at NASA. For more information on SciFest St. Louis, please visit http://www.scifeststl.org/.
Below is NASA's official biography of Dr. Magnus:
Sandra H. Magnus (Ph.D.), NASA Astronaut
PERSONAL DATA: Born October 30, 1964, in Belleville, Illinois. Enjoys soccer, reading, cooking, travel and water activities.
EDUCATION: Graduated from Belleville West High School, Belleville, Illinois, in 1982; received a bachelor's degree in physics and a master's degree in electrical engineering from the University of Missouri-Rolla in 1986 and 1990, respectively, and a doctorate from the School of Material Science and Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1996.
ORGANIZATIONS: The Explorers Club, Women in Aerospace, American Association for the Advancement of Science.
SPECIAL HONORS: Several team, teaching and alumni awards, NASA Space Flight Medal (2002, 2009) and the NASA Distinguished Service Medal (2009).
EXPERIENCE: From 1986 to 1991, Dr. Magnus worked for McDonnell Douglas Aircraft Company as a stealth engineer, working on internal research and development and later, the Navy's A-12 Attack Aircraft program, studying the effectiveness of radar signature reduction techniques. From 1991 to 1996, Dr. Magnus completed her thesis work, which was supported by NASA Lewis Research Center through a Graduate Student Fellowship and involved investigations on materials of interest for "Scandate" thermionic cathodes.
NASA EXPERIENCE: Selected by NASA in April 1996, Dr. Magnus reported to the Johnson Space Center in August 1996. She completed 2 years of training and evaluation and is qualified for flight assignment as a mission specialist. From January 1997 to May 1998, Dr. Magnus worked in the Astronaut Office Payloads/Habitability Branch. Her duties involved working with ESA, NASDA and Brazil on science freezers, glove boxes and other facility-type payloads. In May 1998, Dr. Magnus was assigned as a "Russian Crusader," which involved traveling to Russia in support of hardware testing and operational products development. In August 2000, she served as a CAPCOM for the International Space Station (ISS). In August 2001, she was assigned to STS-112. In October 2002, Dr. Magnus flew aboard STS-112. In completing her first spaceflight, she logged a total of 10 days, 19 hours and 58 minutes in space. Following STS-112, Dr. Magnus was assigned to work with the Canadian Space Agency to prepare the Special Dexterous Manipulator robot for installation on the ISS. She was also involved in Return To Flight activities. In July 2005, Dr. Magnus was assigned to the ISS Expedition Corps and began training for a future ISS long-duration mission. She flew to the ISS with the crew of STS-126, launching on November 14 and arriving at the ISS on November 16, 2008. On her second flight, Dr. Magnus spent 4.5 months aboard the ISS and returned to Earth with the crew of STS-119 on March 28, 2009. Following her ISS mission, Dr. Magnus served 6 months at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C., working in the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate. In July 2011, Dr. Magnus flew as a mission specialist on the crew of STS 135/ULF7, an ISS cargo delivery mission that carried the Multi Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM), "Raffaello."
SPACEFLIGHT EXPERIENCE: STS-112 Atlantis (October 7 to October 18, 2002) launched from and returned to land at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida. STS-112 was an ISS assembly mission during which the crew conducted joint operations with Expedition 5 by delivering and installing the S-1 truss (the third piece of the ISS 11 piece integrated truss structure). Dr. Magnus operated the ISS robotic arm during the three spacewalks required to outfit and activate the new component. The crew also transferred cargo between the two vehicles and used the shuttle thruster jets during two maneuvers to raise the ISS orbit. STS-112 was the first shuttle mission to use a camera on the external tank, providing a live view of the launch to flight controllers and NASA TV viewers. The mission was accomplished in 170 orbits, traveling 4.5 million miles in 10 days, 19 hours and 58 minutes. STS-126 Endeavour launched on November 14, 2008, and arrived at the ISS 2 days later to start Dr. Magnus' participation in Expedition 18 as the flight engineer 2 and science officer. The shuttle delivered all the additional components necessary to expand the ISS to support a six-person crew. During the course of Expedition 18, Dr. Magnus and Capt. Mike Fincke worked to install a water regeneration system, two new crew quarters, an advanced resistive exercise device and a second toilet. In addition, several new payload racks were installed and activated. Overall, the mission completed the upgrade required to begin six-person-crew operations in May 2009; supported two Orlan based spacewalks and completed twice the amount of science originally planned for the increment. Dr. Magnus returned home on STS-119, which delivered and installed the final solar array to the ISS. STS-119 landed on March 28, 2009, bringing Dr. Magnus safely back to Earth after a stay of 4.5 months and traveling 50,304,000 miles.
STS-135/ULF7 Atlantis (July 8 to July 21, 2011) carried the Raffaello MPLM to deliver supplies, logistics and spare parts to the ISS. The mission also flew a system to investigate the potential for robotically refueling existing spacecraft and returned a failed ammonia pump module to help NASA better understand the failure mechanism and improve pump designs for future systems. STS-135 was the 33rd flight of Atlantis, the 37th shuttle mission to the ISS and the 135th and final mission of NASA's Space Shuttle Program. The mission, which included one spacewalk by Expedition 28's Mike Fossum and Ron Garan, was accomplished in 200 orbits of the Earth, traveling 5,284,862 miles in 12 days, 18 hours, 27 minutes and 56 seconds.