Astronaut Megan McArthur will be part of the second mission by NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. NASA astronaut Bob Behnken who is Megan McArthur’s husband just returned from a mission of the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft. The historic test flight that was launched on May 30 and returned to Earth on Sunday. Now, his wife Megan McArthur will pilot the commercial craft’s second mission launch in spring 2021. After her husband Behnken’s historic endeavour with two more US astronauts on board, McArthur will now join the adventure with astronaut Shane Kimbrough, NASA announced on Tuesday.

Kimbrough will lead as a spacecraft commander while Megan McArthur will serve as a pilot for the mission. Joining as the mission specialists will be JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Thomas Pesquet.

McArthur and fellow Behnken met while working as engineers at NASA in 2000, The Atlantic reported. The couple has a six-year-old son, Theodore, CBS News shared.

What You Should Know

  • NASA announced on Tuesday that Megan McArthur will pilot the next SpaceX mission in 2021.
  • Megan is the wife of Bob Behnken, joint operations commander of first Crew Dragon mission.
  • Astronaut Shane Kimbrough will command the next mission in SpaceX craft while Japan’s Akihiko Hoshide and ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet join as specialists.

Previously, McArthur became the lead mission specialist of the STS-125 launch, the final Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission, in 2009. Megan had spent a total of 13 days in space. In 2019, she was appointed Deputy Chief of the Astronaut Office. SpaceX Crew-2 will be McArthur’s second trip to space and first to the station, NASA shared.

Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken’s successfully return this week in a spacecraft built by SpaceX. Space X the company founded by Elon Musk, has been making headlines for two months since the start of its launch in May. The pair has become the first NASA astronauts to take off from the US at Cape Canaveral since 2011.

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“So excited to get to fly with these guys!” McArthur said in a tweet after her selection.

McArthur on Becoming an Astronaut

McArthur is a resident of California, who was selected as an astronaut in 2000, according to NASA.

“I was determined to become an astronaut back when I was a high school student, but I knew it was a long shot,” said McArthur, who holds a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering and a doctorate in oceanography, Swaay reported.

“I went off to UCLA and studied aerospace engineering with the goal of working in the space industry somehow. In the early ’90s, as I approached the end of college, a friend who knew I was interested in pursuing a career at NASA sent me the information for how to apply to be an astronaut,” she further added.

Megan McArthur has already started training with her commander and tweeted “At SpaceX this week for training with Shane Kimbrough, learning how to fly the Dragon.”

The astronauts will remain on the space station for about six months.

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Feature Image Credit: NASA

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