Former Birch Aquarium diver and UC San Diego Alumna Megan McArthur Prepares for Liftoff

Former Birch Aquarium diver and UC San Diego Alumna Megan McArthur Prepares for Liftoff 

With more than two decades of scientific training under her belt, NASA astronaut Megan McArthur is ready for her return mission to space. The accomplished alumna of Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego (Ph.D. ’02) will achieve her aviation dreams when she serves as pilot of the upcoming NASA SpaceX Crew-2 mission to the International Space Station. The launch is targeted for April 22 at 6:11 a.m. EDT from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

  • Megan has a soft spot for the aquarium — she was a volunteer driver and even had her wedding reception at Birch Aquarium at Scripps!
  • She is piloting the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft bound for the International Space Station. She will spend six months at the station conducting science research in areas such as medical technology, human health, and materials to benefit life on Earth.
  • Megan spent nearly 13 days in space in 2009 on the Space Shuttle Atlantis during a mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope. When she returned, she made a special trip to San Diego to visit Birch Aquarium and Scripps Institution of Oceanography, gifting items she took with her to space including a rock from the Tonga Trench (the deepest part of our ocean) and a small American flag.
  • While on the space shuttle, she emailed Richard Harden, a long-time Birch Aquarium volunteer (40 years) who worked closely with Megan when she dove in the Giant Kelp Forest (see photo).
    Megan hopes to visit the aquarium sometime next year!

Those interested in viewing the launch and affiliated coverage can view a livestream on NASA’s website. Stay tuned for mission updates on NASA’s social media channels, as well as on Megan McArthur’s Twitter profile @Astro_Megan.

Read all about Megan McArthur, Astronaut, Former Birch Aquarium diver and graduate of Scripps Institution of Oceanography visiting the International Space Station as part of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-2 mission on the Scripps Institution of Oceanography website.