Press Release

NASA Astronaut Takes On Space Week In Killeen

By SpaceRef Editor
October 23, 2012
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In celebration of the 12th annual Space Week at West Ward Elementary, NASA astronaut William “Bill” McArthur, a colonel in the U.S. Army (retired), will relive his spaceflight experience for students, teachers and the Killeen community on Oct. 25.

Beginning at 8:30 a.m. CDT, McArthur will give a presentation to students in grades K-2 at West Ward Elementary, 709 W. Dean Ave., Killeen, Texas. Along with video of his Expedition 12 mission to the International Space Station, McArthur will discuss how being in the military helped him achieve his goal of traveling in space. McArthur will end his presentation by taking questions from students. At 9:45 a.m., McArthur will assist fifth-grade students as they launch rockets during the Armed Forces Rocket launch.

A community luncheon is scheduled for 10:45 a.m. The luncheon is free and open to the public and media. To RSVP, please call 254-336-1830.

McArthur will give a final presentation to students in grades 3-5 at 12:30 p.m. McArthur was selected as an astronaut by NASA in January 1990. Since then, he has held various assignments within the Astronaut Office. The veteran of four spaceflights has logged more than 224 days in space, including more than 24 hours during four spacewalks.

McArthur was the commander and science officer on Expedition 12 to the International Space Station, which launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Sept. 30, 2005. During his six-month tour of duty aboard the space station, McArthur and his crewmate conducted two spacewalks and became the first crew to dock spacecraft to every Russian docking port on the complex. They also were the first two-person crew to conduct a spacewalk in both Russian and U.S. spacesuits. McArthur is a graduate of West Point Academy where he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army in June 1973. McArthur retired from the Army in 2001.

Space Week is a weeklong educational event held in coordination with the NASA Explorer School Program. The program provides educators access to NASA resources through a comprehensive set of free classroom materials to help teach science, technology, engineering and mathematics concepts. This year’s West Ward Elementary Space Week includes guest speakers from NASA, Harvard Medical School, the University of Texas and XCOR. Space Week runs Oct. 22-26.

For more about NASA Explorer Schools, visit:

For more about West Ward Elementary Space Week, visit:

SpaceRef staff editor.