Baylor To Host Astronaut Duo For NASA Week In Waco

Sept. 11, 2009

Story Musgrave and Sandra Magnus To Talk On Campus

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An out of this world education is coming to the Baylor University campus Sept. 14 to 18 during "NASA Week in Waco," which will feature seminars and lectures from two prominent NASA astronauts.

NASA astronaut Dr. Sandra Magnus will be on the Baylor campus at 3 p.m., Monday, Sept. 14, in room E125 of the Baylor Sciences Building. Magnus will give a seminar discussing physics, mathematics and engineering in space. A reception will follow.

On Friday, Sept. 18, Dr. Story Musgrave, the only astronaut to fly on all five space shuttles, will present his seminar "Earth as Art, A Space Story: A Message of Inspiration and Wonder." Musgrave's lecture will be held at 3 p.m. in room B110 of the Baylor Sciences Building. He will discuss the importance of preserving Earth through inspirational photography from space.

The events, which are free and open to the public, is hosted by the Center for Astrophysics, Space Physics and Engineering Research (CASPER), a Baylor center formed by a partnership between Baylor and Texas State Technical College (TSTC).

"CASPER exposes graduate and undergraduate students to world class thinkers and doers to inspire students to look for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) job opportunities," said Dr. Truell Hyde, vice provost for research at Baylor and director of CASPER. "To protect the economy and national security it is important to encourage students with events like 'NASA Week in Waco' so that they will enter the careers that will impact our lives for the future."

In 1996, Magnus's role during space flight STS-112 was to operate the space station's robotic arm during three spacewalks. She also was part of the first shuttle mission to use a camera on the external tank, providing the first live view of the launch. In 2009, Magnus participated in Expedition 18 on the space shuttle STS-26 to repair the International Space Station to support a six-person crew.

Magnus received her bachelor's and master's degrees in physics and electrical engineering, respectively, from the University of Missouri-Rolla (now Missouri University of Science and Technology) and her doctorate from the School of Material Science and Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

"At night we would sit out at the ranch and look up at the stars, and Sandra would say 'One day I am going to be an astronaut,'" said Karen Mittendorf, associate director of graduate student services at Baylor and personal friend of Magnus. "It is interesting that she knew at such a young age what she wanted to be and it is wonderful that she accomplished her dreams."

Musgrave received his bachelor's degree in mathematics and statistics from Syracuse University and his bachelor's degree chemistry from Marietta College. He also received a master's in operations analysis and computer programming from the University of California, a master's of science in physiology and biophysics from the University of Kentucky and a master's in literature from the University of Houston. In 1964, Musgrave earned his doctorate in medicine from Columbia University.

During Musgrave's six record-breaking space flights, he served on two satellite-launching missions and repaired the Hubble Space Telescope. Prior to John Glenn's historic return to space in 1998, Musgrave was the oldest person in space at the age of 62.

Events for NASA week will also take place on the TSTC campus with a lecture by Magnus hosted by the Heart of Texas Amateur Radio Club.

by Lillyan Baker, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805

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