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Selected to the NASA Astronaut Corps in 1996, Dr. Magnus flew in space on the STS-112 shuttle mission in 2002 and on the final shuttle flight, STS-135, in 2011. She also flew to the International Space Station on STS-126 in 2008, served as flight engineer and science officer on Expedition 18, and returned home on STS-119 after 4½ months on board. She then served at NASA Headquarters in the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate. Her last duty at NASA, after STS-135, was as deputy chief of the Astronaut Office.
At NASA Dr. Magnus worked extensively with the international community, including the European Space Agency (ESA) and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) as well as Brazil on facility-type payloads. She also spent time in Russia developing and integrating operational products and procedures for the ISS.
She was previously a stealth engineer at McDonnell Douglas Aircraft Company (1986–1991), working on internal research and development and on the Navy’s A-12 Attack Aircraft program, studying the effectiveness of radar signature reduction techniques.
Her service has been recognized with the NASA Space Flight Medal, NASA Distinguished Service Medal, NASA Exceptional Service Medal, and the 40 at 40 Award (given to former collegiate women athletes to recognize the impact of Title IX).
Dr. Magnus earned her BS in physics and MS in electrical engineering from the Missouri University of Science and Technology, and her PhD from the School of Materials Science and Engineering at Georgia Tech.