Event Details
Payload Blog

Meet Astronaut Bill McArthur

May 07, 2022 - May 10, 2022 Kennedy Space Center

NASA selects astronauts from a diverse pool of applicants with a wide variety of backgrounds, from scientists to pilots. From the thousands of applications received, only a few are chosen to be a member of the elite NASA Astronaut Corps. Each day at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, visitors get the rare opportunity to meet a veteran NASA astronaut.

Meet the Astronaut of the Day at any of the following opportunities.  See the Daily Schedule for the times for each when you arrive.

  • The daily Astronaut Encounter briefings allow time for a presentation from the astronaut and a question-and-answer session, so be prepared to ask him or her what you have always wanted to know.
  • Visitors can also get an astronaut’s autograph at The Space Shop and Shuttle Express at various times during the day.
  • During the all-new Chat With An Astronaut, enjoy a sampling of food and beverages while having a group conversation with the Astronaut of the Day about what it is really like to live and work in space. This new add-on enhancement requires daily admission.

Astronaut Bio:

Bill McArthur, was born on July 26, 1951 in Laurinburg, North Carolina, and grew up in Wakulla, North Carolina. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, New York in 1973, and in 1983 received his Masters of Science in Aerospace Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology.

McArthur was assigned to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in 1987 as a space shuttle vehicle integration test engineer, which included serving as the engineering liaison for launch and landing operations of the space shuttle. In January 1990, NASA selected McArthur to be an astronaut. His first mission was aboard the STS-58 Columbia. While on mission, the crew performed many medical experiments to expand our knowledge of human and animal physiology on Earth and in spaceflight. Additionally, they crew performed engineering tests and communicated with school children through the Shuttle Amateur Radio experiment. McArthur also went on the STS-74 Atlantis mission, STS-92 Discovery mission and the Expedition 12.

Since then, McArthur has held various assignments within the Astronaut Office, including working on issues relating to the solid rocket booster, served as chief of the Astronaut Office Flight Support branch, and later, chief of the Astronaut Office Space Station branch. He enjoys biking, photography and working with personal computers. McArthur is also an avid ham radio operator. By the time McArthur retired from the army in 2001, he had logged over 9,000 flight hours in 41 different air/spacecraft, making him a master army aviator.

Astronaut Bill McArthur in the ISS

Meet Astronaut Bill McArthur

Missions STS-58 Columbia

STS-74 Atlantis

STS-92 Discovery

Soyuz TMA-7

Expedition 12