Early in 2009, NASA astronaut Sandra Magnus concluded a four-month stay aboard the International Space Station. This month the Missouri University of Science and Technology graduate will return to her alma mater to deliver a keynote speech during Missouri S&T’s Homecoming festivities.
Magnus, who earned a bachelor of science degree in physics in 1986 and a master of science degree in electrical engineering in 1990, both from Missouri S&T, will speak about life aboard the space station at 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23, in Leach Theatre of Castleman Hall, 10th and Main streets in Rolla.
The lecture is free and open to the public, but tickets are required. Tickets will be made available to the public beginning at 9 a.m. Monday, Oct. 19, at the Leach Theatre Box Office. Tickets are limited to two per person. The Miner Alumni Association will provide tickets to all Missouri S&T Alumni who register for the Silver and Gold Feaste and Merriment by Friday, Oct. 16.
Ticketholders must be seated by 7:45 p.m. At that time, any vacant seats will be released to individuals waiting at the door.
In November 2008, Magnus launched into orbit aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour to begin a four-month stay aboard the International Space Station. While there, Magnus and other crew members installed equipment needed to support a six-person crew aboard the space station. It was previously equipped for three crew members.
During her months in outer space, Magnus answered questions and reported on her stay on the Missouri S&T blog, http://spacebook.mst.edu. Elementary school students and teachers from around the state submitted questions like “What is it like to sleep in zero gravity?” and “How do you go to the bathroom in space?” which Magnus answered on the blog.
Magnus is a native of Belleville, Ill. She earned a doctorate from Georgia Institute of Technology in 1996.
Magnus is one of three Missouri S&T graduates to have launched careers as NASA astronauts. The others are Tom Akers, who holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mathematics from S&T, and Janet (Sellers) Kavandi, who earned a master’s degree in chemistry from S&T.