This article originally appeared on Geek Feminism.
Back-to-back American astronauts, yes. Special occasion! This is by request, from deborah on July 7:
Sandra Magnus is flying on the last NASA space shuttle launch tomorrow– how about a quick hit about her? And about being sad about the space shuttle. 🙁
We’re a little late to the party, so I’m scheduling this entry for about twelve hours prior to the end of the mission: landing is scheduled at 21 July 2011 9:56 UTC.
Sandra Magnus has a PhD in materials science and engineering and has worked on stealth aircraft design. This is Magnus’s 4th Shuttle mission, but third trip into space: she spent 134 days in orbit between November 2008 and March 2009, travelling to the International Space Station on STS-126 and returning on STS-119.
STS-135 is the 33rd mission for Space Shuttle Atlantis, and the final mission of the Shuttle program. See NASA’s video of the launch. NASA TV will be showing coverage of STS-135 throughout the planned landing.