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May 17, 2012
Soccer Standout Turned NASA Astronaut Speaks to NCAA Champs

HOUSTON - NASA astronaut and former student athlete Sandra Magnus will be the featured speaker during the closing ceremonies at the 2012 National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II Championships Festival on May 19 in Louisville, Ky.

The festival provides an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of more than 1,000 student athletes. The closing ceremonies will take place at Louisville Executive Aviation at Bowman Field Airport. Magnus will discuss how athletic skills contribute to success. The presentation, which is open to media, begins at 7 p.m. CDT.

Magnus was selected as an astronaut in 1996 and has logged three missions in space. The first mission, STS-112 aboard space shuttle Atlantis in 2002, lasted 10 days. The second, STS-126 aboard Endeavour, took her to the International Space Station, where she spent 4.5 months in space in 2008-09. During her third flight, STS-135, she returned to the station aboard Atlantis in July 2011 to deliver supplies and spare parts. STS-135 was the final mission of NASA's Space Shuttle Program and lasted 12 days.

Magnus, a native of Belleville, Ill., graduated from Missouri University of Science and Technology in 1986 with a bachelor's in physics and a master's in electrical engineering in 1990. She later earned a doctorate from Georgia Tech.

While at Missouri University of Science and Technology, Magnus was a standout member of the soccer team and recognized as a top defender. She won four letters and guided the Miners to a 31-27-2 record during the program's first four years. Magnus was inducted into the university's Athletics Hall of Fame in 2003.

She also was cited by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America with an honorary All-America award in 2008, which is given to individuals who bring distinction to soccer through their efforts beyond the boundaries of the sport.

For more about Magnus, visit:


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Dana Davis
Johnson Space Center, Houston

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