Sandy Magnus’ Middle East Tour Journal
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NASA Astronaut Sandy Magnus Heads to Middle East to Support Troops
After more than four months and 56 million miles in orbit, NASA Astronaut Sandra Magnus is now embarking on another mission -- a one-of-a-kind trip to support U.S. military troops overseas.
Magnus will join Olympic marathon gold medalist Frank Shorter and internationally renowned runner and author Bart Yasso on The Warrior Tours: America's Races Salutes the Troops. During a week, the tour will visit seven U.S. military bases in the Middle East supporting the troops in the semi-annual Armed Forces Physical Fitness Test (AFPFT).
“I am very honored to be a part of the tour so that I can go and say "thank you" in person, on behalf of all of the men and women who work in the U.S. space industry, to all of the people who sacrifice so much so we can do what we do,” said Magnus, whose father served in the U.S. Army.
Magnus served as a flight engineer on Expedition 18 and spent 128 days on the International Space Station. She returned to Earth on March 28.
“Much like our troops, astronaut's go through incredibly demanding physical and mental conditions in preparation for and during their missions,” said Rob Powers, founder of The Warrior Tours, and co-host of America’s Races Salutes the Troops. “We are excited to have Sandra on the tour as she will connect with our troops on a fitness level while providing inspiration through her experiences as an astronaut.”
The America’s Races Salutes the Troops will be producing world class running events at each base including evening entertainment, professional digital tag timing, announcing, and race T-shirts and awards donated by more than thirty of the top running events around the United States. Each competitor will be given a race T-shirt, from the race closest to their hometown, a finish medal.
“Without the sacrifices our military people make to keep our country free we in the space business would not be able to focus on moving our country forward in new directions,” Magnus said. “I am very excited to have the opportunity to share my spaceflight experiences with them.”
While in orbit on the station, Magnus, as do all station crew members, exercised for up to two hours each day using a variety of equipment. Exercise is one of the primary measures taken to minimize bone and muscle loss in space. Station crews have a specially designed treadmill on which they can run in space – with the help of a few elastic cords to hold them down. The station also has a cycle ergometer and a resistive exercise device for crew members.
“Fitness is very important and I enjoy running myself as a way to stay fit,” Magnus explained. “Staying fit is an important part of life on orbit in order to be able to return to Earth and function.”
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