K. Megan McArthur

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K. Megan McArthur
Born (1971-08-10) August 10, 1971 (age 48)
Space career
NASA Astronaut
Time in space
12 days, 21 hours, 38 min.
Selection2000 NASA Group
Mission insignia
STS-125 patch.svg

Katherine Megan McArthur (born August 10, 1971) is an American oceanographer and a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) astronaut. She has served as a Capsule Communicator (CAPCOM) for both the space shuttle and space station. Megan McArthur has flown one space shuttle mission, STS-125. She is known as the last person to be hands on with the Hubble Space Telescope via the Canadarm. McArthur has served in a number of positions including working in the Shuttle Avionics Laboratory (SAIL). She is married to fellow astronaut Robert L. Behnken.[1]

Early life[edit]

McArthur was born in Honolulu, Hawaii but grew up in Northern California.[2] She dreamed of being an astronaut when she was a teenager. She attended London Central High School and graduated from St. Francis High School in Mountain View, California, then later earned a B.S. degree in Aerospace Engineering from UCLA in 1993. In 2002, she was awarded a Ph.D. in oceanography from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego.[2]

Oceanography career[edit]

At the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, McArthur conducted graduate research in nearshore underwater acoustic propagation and digital signal processing.[2] Her research focused on determining geoacoustic models to describe very shallow water waveguides using measured transmission loss data in a genetic algorithm inversion technique. She served as Chief Scientist during at-sea data collection operations, and has planned and led diving operations during sea-floor instrument deployments and sediment-sample collections. While at Scripps, she participated in a range of in-water instrument testing, deployment, maintenance, and recovery, and collection of marine plants, animals, and sediment. During this time, McArthur also volunteered at the Birch Aquarium at Scripps, conducting educational demonstrations for the public from inside a 70,000 gallon exhibit tank of the California Kelp Forest.

NASA career[edit]

Selected as a mission specialist by NASA in July 2000, McArthur reported for training in August 2000.[2] She trained at the Carter training facility. Following the completion of two years of training and evaluation, she was assigned to the Astronaut Office Shuttle Operations Branch working technical issues on shuttle systems in the Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory (SAIL). McArthur then served as the Crew Support Astronaut for the Expedition 9 Crew during their six-month mission aboard the International Space Station. She also worked in the Space Station and Space Shuttle Mission Control Centers as a Capsule Communicator (CAPCOM). In 2006, McArthur was the capsule communicator (capcom) for STS-116. She was also the EVA capcom for the STS-117 mission in 2007.

McArthur, STS-125 mission specialist, works the controls of the remote manipulator system (RMS) on the aft flight deck of the Earth-orbiting Space Shuttle Atlantis during flight day eight activities.

Megan McArthur was a member of the STS-125 mission to service the Hubble Space Telescope. McArthur was the ascent and entry flight engineer and was the lead robotics crew member for the mission. The mission which lasted almost 13 days[2] was McArthur's first trip into space. In a pre-flight interview, she put it as: "I'll be the last one with hands on [the Hubble Space Telescope]."[3]

In 2019, McArthur was appointed Deputy Chief of the Astronaut Office.

Personal life[edit]

McArthur is married to fellow astronaut Bob Behnken, and they have one son.[4]


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

  1. ^ "Astronauts eager for last Hubble visit: Final telescope servicing mission brings veterans and rookies together". NBC News. May 4, 2009.
  2. ^ a b c d e Whiting, Melanie (March 2, 2016). "Megan McArthur (PH.D.) NASA Astronaut". NASA. Retrieved March 10, 2020.
  3. ^ "Last Hubble telescope repair involves genius of two South Bay women". San Jose Mercury News. May 8, 2009.
  4. ^ "Astronaut Bob Behnken will be one of two-person crew on Crew Dragon Demo-2 launch". SpaceFlight Insider. May 6, 2020. Retrieved May 20, 2020.

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