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William Surles (Bill) McArthur Jr Status: Active. Trained as: Astronaut. Profession: Mission Specialist. Sex: Male. Marital Status: Married. Children: Two. Birth Date: 26 July 1951. Birth City: Laurinburg. Birth State: North Carolina. Birth Country: USA. Nationality: American. Group: 1990 NASA Group. Date Selected: 17 January 1990. Number of Flights: 3. Total Time: 35.10 days. Number of EVAs: 2. Total EVA Time: 13.27 hours.

NASA Official Biography

NAME: William Surles "Bill" McArthur, Jr., (Colonel, USA)
NASA Astronaut

Born July 26, 1951, in Laurinburg, North Carolina. His hometown is Wakulla, North Carolina. Married to the former Cynthia Kathryn Lovin of Red Springs, North Carolina. They have two daughters. He enjoys basketball, running, and working with personal computers. Bill's stepfather, Mr. Weldon C. Avant, resides in Red Springs. His parents, Brigadier General William S. McArthur and Mrs. Edith P. Avant, are deceased. Cynthia's mother, Mrs. A.K. Lovin, resides in Red Springs, North Carolina.

Graduated from Red Springs High School, Red Springs, North Carolina, in 1969; received a bachelor of science degree in applied science and engineering from the United States Military Academy, West Point, New York, in 1973, and a master of science degree in aerospace engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1983.

Member of the American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics (AIAA), the Army Aviation Association of America, the Association of the United States Army, the United States Military Academy Association of Graduates , the West Point Society of Greater Houston, MENSA, Phi Kappa Phi, the Association of Space Explorers, and the American Radio Relay League.

Recipient of the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal (First Oak Leaf Cluster), the Army Commendation Medal, the NASA Space Flight Medal, and the NASA Exceptional Service Medal. Distinguished Graduate of the U.S. Army Aviation School. Honorary Doctor of Science degree from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. Recipient of the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, North Carolina's highest civilian award. Member of the Georgia Tech Academy of Distinguished Engineering Alumni. 1996 American Astronautical Society Flight Achievement Award.

McArthur graduated from West Point in June 1973 and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. Following a tour with the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, he entered the U.S. Army Aviation School in 1975. He was the top graduate of his flight class and was designated an Army aviator in June 1976. He subsequently served as an aeroscout team leader and brigade aviation section commander with the 2nd Infantry Division in the Republic of Korea. In 1978 he was assigned to the 24th Combat Aviation Battalion in Savannah, Georgia, where he served as a company commander, platoon leader, and operations officer. After completing studies at Georgia Tech, he was assigned to the Department of Mechanics at West Point as an assistant professor. In June 1987, he graduated from the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School and was designated an experimental test pilot. Other military schools completed include the Army Parachutist Course, the Jumpmaster Course, and the Command and General Staff Officers' Course.

A Master Army Aviator, he has logged over 4000 flight hours in 37 different aircraft.

McArthur was assigned to NASA at the Johnson Space Center in August 1987 as a Space Shuttle vehicle integration test engineer. Duties involved engineering liaison for launch and landing operations of the Space Shuttle. He was actively involved in the integrated test of the flight control system for each Orbiter for its return to flight and was a member of the Emergency Escape and Rescue Working Group.

Selected by NASA in January 1990, McArthur became an astronaut in July 1991. Since then, McArthur has held various assignments within the Astronaut Office including: working issues relating to the solid rocket booster, redesigned solid rocket motor, and the advanced solid rocket motor. A veteran of two space flights, McArthur has logged 354 orbits of the Earth, traveled 9.2 million miles in 22 days, 4 hours, 44 minutes and 45 seconds.

McArthur served as a mission specialist on STS-58 on the seven-person life science research mission aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia, launching from the Kennedy Space Center on October 18, 1993, and landing at Edwards Air Force Base on November 1, 1993. The crew performed neurovestibular, cardiovascular, cardiopulmonary, metabolic, and musculoskeletal medical experiments on themselves and 48 rats, expanding our knowledge of human and animal physiology both on earth and in space flight. In addition, the crew performed 16 engineering tests aboard the Orbiter Columbia and 20 Extended Duration Orbiter Medical Project experiments. Additionally, the crew made extensive contacts with school children and amateur radio operators around the world through the Shuttle Amateur Radio experiment. The mission was accomplished in 225 orbits of the Earth in 336 hours, 13 minutes, 01 second.

Most recently, McArthur served as a mission specialist on STS-74, NASA's second Space Shuttle mission to rendezvous and dock with the Russian Space Station Mir. STS-74 launched on November 12, 1995, and landed at Kennedy Space Center on November 20, 1995. During the 8-day flight the crew aboard Atlantis successfully attached a permanent docking module to Mir, conducted experiments on a number of secondary payloads, and transferred one and a half tons of supplies between Atlantis and Mir. The STS-74 mission was accomplished in 129 orbits of the Earth, traveling 3.4 million miles in 196 hours, 30 minutes, 44 seconds.Currently, McArthur is assigned as the Chief of the Astronaut Office Flight Support Branch, supervising astronaut support of the Mission Control Center, prelaunch Space Shuttle processing, and launch and landing operations.


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Last update 3 May 2001.
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