NASA Astronaut to Visit the UP Museum

The Union Pacific Railroad Museum is hosting an event with NASA astronaut Megan McArthur Benkhen on Saturday, August 27 from 12:00 to 4:00 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

"From Steam Engines to Rocket Ships: Pushing Boundaries" is a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) celebration exploring science, space travel, and the technological innovations that have taken us from the transcontinental railroad to space exploration. The museum will provide fun crafts and activities and bring together various local partners to help stoke visitors' interest in science. Astronaut Megan McArthur Benkhen will be on site for photo opportunities and questions from 2:00-4:00 p.m.

In 2021, McArthur Benkhen, a steam fan, asked to take an item representing UP 4014 or “Big Boy” steam locomotive to space with her as her personal item. Union Pacific steam operations presented her with a “Big Boy” challenge coin which she took on board the International Space Station for her 6-month Crew 2 mission in 2021. This coin is returning to Earth and will reside in the Union Pacific Collection at the Union Pacific Museum. The coin will be on display during the event, and stay on display for the public through December 2022.

On Friday, August 26, McArthur Benkhen will speak to 600 Council Bluffs 8th grade students about her career and her experiences on her recent mission. This visit is sponsored by the Union Pacific Museum Association.

The Union Pacific Railroad Museum is located at 200 Pearl Street in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and is open Thursday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Admission is free, and walk-ins are welcome.

This post was originally published on August 9, 2022 on the Unleash Council Bluffs blog.