Astronaut McArthur to speak at planetarium anniversary celebration

By: Staff report

LUMBERTON — The Robeson Planetarium and Science Center will commemorate 50 years of operation with Robeson County’s own retired NASA astronaut, William “Bill” McArthur Jr.

The “Bill McArthur Talk” will take place at Robeson Community College on July 11 from 7 to 9 p.m. The day also will be used to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo XI’s landing on the moon on July 20, 1969. McArthur will speak of that day.

McArthur’s hometown is Wakulla. He is a 1969 graduate of Red Springs High School.

He was assigned to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in August 1987 as a space shuttle vehicle integration test engineer. His duties involved serving as the engineering liaison for space shuttle launch and landing operations. He was actively involved in the integrated test of the flight control system for each orbiter for its return to flight and was a member of the Emergency Escape and Rescue Working Group.

Selected by NASA in January 1990, McArthur became an astronaut in July 1991. Since then, McArthur has held various assignments within the Astronaut Office, including working issues relating to the solid rocket booster, redesigned solid rocket motor and the advanced solid rocket motor.

A veteran of four spaceflights, McArthur has logged 224 days, 22 hours, 28 minutes and 10 seconds in space, including 24 hours and 21 minutes of spacewalk time in four spacewalks. Subsequent assignments included manager of the space shuttle safety and mission assurance office and as the space shuttle orbiter project manager. McArthur currently serves as the director of safety and mission assurance for the Johnson Space Center.
McArthur to speak at anniversary celebration

Staff report