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Written by:  Odile Fredericks
Date: April 27, 2012

Do you live with an aspiring astronaut who dreams of life in outer space? Take him or her to hear from a retired astronaut who happens to be a Tar Heel and also catch a new NASA exhibit for free this Tuesday night, May 1, at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, in downtown Raleigh.

NASA astronaut William McArthur Jr. has made four space flights and has logged nearly 225 days in space, including four space walks. He will be speaking at 7 p.m. May 1 in the main auditorium of the museum. A native of Laurinburg, N.C., McArthur has been on three shuttle flights, including the shuttle Discovery, which docked with the International Space Station (ISS) in October 2000. The ISS is an internationally-developed research facility located in Earth's lower orbit and is the largest space station ever built. McArthur also docked with Mir, a precursor to the current ISS, during his mission aboard the shuttle Atlantis in 1995.

Beginning at 6 p.m., visitors can also enjoy snacks and beverages, a poster session, and a free NASA exhibit,  "Destination: Station," on the museum's special exhibits hall on second floor. "Destination: Station opened April 28 and runs through May 20, highlighting activities performed on NASA's International Space Station and potential impact the station's work could have on daily life on Earth. The ISS serves as a laboratory where international astronauts conduct experiments in basic life and physical sciences, earth and space sciences, and technology for enabling future exploration. The exhibit will stay in Raleigh through May 19-20, when the museum features Astronomy Days, a free annual museum program that promotes knowledge of the universe.



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