NASA Astronaut To Lead Hometown Shriner Parade
HOUSTON, May 29, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NASA astronaut Sandy Magnus, who flew aboard the final space shuttle mission, will serve as the grand marshal of the annual Shriner Parade in Belleville, Ill., on June 1. The parade begins at 7:30 p.m. CDT at the corner of 17th and West Main Street. The route will travel eastward through downtown Belleville and end at 9th and East Main Street.
Nearly 20,000 people are expected to line the parade route to watch one of Southern Illinois' largest parades, which will feature floats, marching bands and Shriner mini-cars and cycles. This year's parade celebrates the Ainad Shriners' centennial anniversary. Founded in 1912, the Masonic fraternal organization is celebrating 100 years of service to the Southern Illinois community.
Magnus, a native of Belleville, graduated from Belleville West High School in 1982. She holds a bachelor's degree in physics and a master's degree in electrical engineering from the University of Missouri-Rolla (now Missouri University of Science and Technology) and a doctorate from the School of Material Science and Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology.
Magnus was selected as an astronaut in 1996 and has logged three spaceflight missions. 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, which lasted 12 days, was the final mission of NASA's Space Shuttle Program.
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