Imagine spending more than 200 days traveling at 17,500 miles per hour, 250 miles above the Earth. Better yet, meet a man who did it. The NC Museum of Natural Sciences in downtown Raleigh welcomes NASA Astronaut and North Carolina native William McArthur Jr. on Tuesday, May 1 at 7pm to discuss his time in space. Main auditorium. Free.
Born in Laurinburg and a graduate of Red Springs High School in North Carolina, retired Army Colonel McArthur is a veteran of four space flights and has logged nearly 225 days in space, including four space walks. Since becoming an Astronaut in 1991, McArthur has been on three shuttle flights, including the shuttle Discovery, which docked with the International Space Station (ISS) in October 2000. McArthur also docked with Mir during his mission aboard the shuttle Atlantis in 1995. Mir was the first consistently inhabited long-term research station in space, a precursor to the current ISS.
Beginning at 6pm, visitors can also enjoy snacks and beverages, a poster session, and a free NASA exhibit on the second floor. “Destination: Station” highlights activities performed on NASA’s International Space Station and potential impacts the station has on our everyday lives. The ISS is an internationally-developed research facility located in Earth’s lower orbit and is the largest space station ever constructed. It serves as a laboratory where astronauts from around the world conduct experiments in basic life and physical sciences, earth and space sciences, and technology for enabling future exploration. “Destination: Station” is free and is located on the Museum’s special exhibits hall on the 2nd floor beginning Saturday, April 28 and running through Astronomy Days (May 19-20).
The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences documents and interprets the natural history of the state of through exhibits, research, collections, publications and educational programming. Visit the Museum’s new wing, the Nature Research Center, designed to bring scientific research even more into the public eye. Hours: Monday-Saturday, 9am-5pm and Sunday, Noon-5pm. Find more information at www.naturalsciences.org . General admission is free. The Museum is an agency of the NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Dee Freeman, Secretary.