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Astronaut Sandra Magnus Takes on Optical Satellites, Human Spaceflight, and Sustainability

By Jeffrey Hill | June 21, 2021

      Very few people understand the realities of space like former NASA Astronaut Dr. Sandra Magnus. After all, she spent more than 150 days — nearly half a year of her life — living in space. Her perspective on what is and isn’t possible with space and satellite technology is uniquely grounded in experience.

      Dr. Magnus is optimistic about the future of human spaceflight and satellite communications, but that excitement comes with some concern about the challenges we face in our rapid development of commercial space. She believes that we have the talent and capability in the private sector to solve these challenges, but that we need government leadership and guidance to ensure that space truly benefits all.

      In this episode, Dr. Magnus talks to On Orbit host Jeffrey Hill about her new role on BridgeComm’s advisory board and her interest in the company’s optical wireless satellite technology and its mission to form the backbone of interconnected networks. She also talks about her work as an advisor to Virgin Galactic, her views on space tourism, and her memories of the Space Shuttle and how it compares to modern launch vehicles. She also expresses her opinion about how global and collaborative Space Situational Awareness (SSA) and space debris removal capabilities are both necessary and possible.

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