Press Release

NASA Astronaut Has San Francisco Bay Area Roots

By SpaceRef Editor
August 21, 2008
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NASA Astronaut Has San Francisco Bay Area Roots

MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. – NASA’s next space shuttle mission has a San Francisco Bay Area connection.

NASA Astronaut Megan McArthur graduated from St. Francis High School in Mountain View, Calif., and considers California to be her home state. Her parents, Don and Kit McArthur, reside in San Jose, Calif. McArthur was selected as a mission specialist by NASA in July 2000 and will operate the robotic arm for all of the extravehicular activities during the 11-day STS-125 space shuttle Atlantis mission, targeted for launch Oct. 8, 2008.

“For a number of years, we lived at Moffett Field Naval Air Station, which is also where the Ames Research Center is,” said McArthur. “We used to see astronauts come out there to do some of their training.” By seeing NASA astronauts at work, McArthur says she became interested in NASA’s space program. After studying aerospace engineering in college, she pursued her idea of becoming an astronaut.

Space shuttle Atlantis’ flight will include five spacewalks to refurbish and upgrade the Hubble Space Telescope with state-of-the-art science instruments. Replacing failed hardware on Hubble will extend the telescope’s life into the next decade.

Other Atlantis crewmembers include Commander Scott Altman, Pilot Gregory C. Johnson, and Mission Specialists Andrew Feustel, Michael Good, John Grunsfeld and Mike Massimino. The spacewalkers are Good, Grunsfeld, Feustel and Massimino.

NASA will hold a series of news media briefings Sept. 8 – 9, 2008 to preview the space shuttle’s fifth and final servicing mission to the Hubble Space Telescope. On Sept. 9, 2008, Atlantis’ seven astronauts will be available for round-robin interviews at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, Houston. Reporters planning to participate in-person or by phone must contact Gayle Frere at 281-483-8645 by Sept. 2, 2008 to reserve an interview opportunity.

NASA Television and the agency’s Web site will provide live coverage of the briefings from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., and NASA’s Johnson Space Center, Houston. The schedule (all times are PDT) includes:

Monday, Sept. 8, 2008:

  • 5 a.m. – Video B-Roll Feed
  • 6 a.m. – NASA Overview Briefing (from Goddard)
  • 7 a.m. – Shuttle Program Overview Briefing (from Johnson)
  • 8 a.m. – Hubble Space Telescope (HST)/Servicing Mission (SM) 4 Program Overview (from Goddard)
  • 9:30 a.m. – NASA TV Video File
  • 10 a.m. – HST/SM4 Science Overview (from Goddard)
  • 11:30 a.m. – HST Program and Science Round-Robins (from Goddard; not on NASA TV)

Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2008:

  • 6 a.m. – Video B-Roll Feed
  • 7 a.m. – STS-125 Mission Overview (from Johnson)
  • 8:30 a.m. – STS-125 Spacewalk Overview (from Johnson)
  • 10 a.m. – NASA TV Video File
  • 11 a.m. – STS-125 Crew News Conference (from Johnson)
  • Noon – 4 p.m. – STS-125 Crew Round-Robins (from Johnson; not on NASA TV)

NASA TV is carried on the Web and on an MPEG-2 digital signal accessed via satellite AMC-6, at 72 degrees west longitude, transponder 17C, 4040 MHz, vertical polarization. It’s available in Alaska and Hawaii on AMC-7, at 137 degrees west longitude, transponder 18C, at 4060 MHz, horizontal polarization. A Digital Video Broadcast compliant Integrated Receiver Decoder is required for reception.

For NASA TV streaming video, schedules and downlink information, visit:

For the latest information about the STS-125 mission and its crew, visit:

SpaceRef staff editor.