Born: October 30, 1964 - Belleville, Illinois.
NASA Astronaut Sandra Magnus knows more than a little something about the need for fitness and endurance over long distances. Among her impressive work for NASA, she has traveled more than 4.5 million miles and spent three months in space as flight engineer and science officer for space station operation and repair missions. We’re looking forward to this “first” of an astronaut promoting fitness in a combat area of operation.
EDUCATION: Graduated from Belleville West High School, Belleville, Illinois, in 1982; received a bachelor degree in physics and a master 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: ASM/TMS (Metallurgical/Material Society), AAAS.
SPECIAL HONORS: Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Award (1994 and 1996), Saturn Team Award (1994), Performance Bonus Award (1989), NASA Space Flight Medal (2002).
EXPERIENCE: During 1986 to 1991, Magnus worked for McDonnell Douglas Aircraft Company as a stealth engineer where she worked on internal research and development studying the effectiveness of RADAR signature reduction techniques. She was also assigned to the Navy’s A-12 Attack Aircraft program primarily working on the propulsion system until the program was cancelled. From 1991 to 1996, 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 two years of training and evaluation and is qualified for flight assignment as a mission specialist. From January 1997 through 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. In August 2001, she was assigned to STS-112. In October 2002, Dr. Magnus flew aboard STS-112. In completing her first space flight 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 space station long duration mission. Currently she lives and works aboard the International Space Station as an Expedition 18 flight engineer and NASA science officer. She flew to the space station with the crew of STS-126, launching on November 14, and arriving at the station on November 16, 2008. Dr. Magnus will spend 3 months aboard the space station and return to earth with the crew of STS-119.
SPACE FLIGHT EXPERIENCE: STS-112 Atlantis (October 7-18, 2002) launched from and returned to land at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida. STS-112 was an International Space Station assembly mission during which the crew conducted joint operations with the Expedition 5 by delivering and installing the S-One Truss (the third piece of the station's 11-piece Integrated Truss Structure). Dr. Magnus operated the space station’s 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's thruster jets during two maneuvers to raise the station's 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.
Enjoys soccer, reading, travel, water activities.