Astronaut Bill McArthur returns home to North Carolina Friday, March 21, to share highlights of his record 14-day mission aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia in 1993 and 1995 trip to the Russian Space Station Mir aboard Atlantis.
McArthur, a North Carolina native, will speak 4-5 p.m. Friday, March 21, in the Atrium of The Radisson Marque Hotel in Winston-Salem to a group of gifted children. Children from Charlotte, Durham and Winston-Salem are scheduled to attend the event with McArthur, which is free and open to the public. McArthur’s talk is sponsored by Science STARS, an affiliated program of Wake Forest University that provides educational enrichment opportunities for children ages 9 to 13 gifted in math and the sciences.
The program is part of the 24th annual conference of the N.C. Association for the Gifted and Talented (NCAGT) and Parents for the Advancement of Gifted Education (PAGE) on March 20-22 at the Benton Convention Center ñ one of the largest meetings on gifted education in the United States.
McArthur also will give the conference’s opening address at 1 p.m. Friday at Benton Convention Center. Pre-registration is required for that program and the conference. For conference information or to pre-register, call 910-353-4878.
An engineer, West Point graduate, former paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne and a Navy test pilot, McArthur first applied in 1979 for the astronaut program. Accepted by NASA in 1990, McArthur was the flight engineer aboard Columbia for its record-breaking 14-day scientific mission in 1993. In 1995, McArthur returned to space aboard Atlantis for a rendezvous and docking with the Russian Space Station Mir.
“Looking at Earth from space is absolutely thrilling,” said McArthur, who is the CAPCOM, or Mission Control’s voice communication with shuttle crews. “It’s like all your Christmases at one time. Pictures do not do justice to the beauty of the Earth.”
(Note to the media: For more information about McArthur’s visit with the Science STARS, please call the News Bureau at 910-759-5237. Media coverage is welcomed, and both videography and still photography are permitted.)
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