|Astronaut Ricky Arnold knows a bit about seizures. He has a family member with epilepsy and he and his crew mates have been celebrating Purple Day® for the past several years.
Through conversations with AKF ED Debra Joseph and Purple Day Founder Cassidy Megan, a collaboration was crafted, and an event planned.
Before his NASA career, he worked as a teacher in Morocco, Saudi Arabia, and Indonesia.
He was selected by NASA in 2004. Astronaut Arnold, a veteran of two spaceflights, flew to the International Space Station aboard Discovery STS-119 in 2009, and most recently aboard a Soyuz as a Flight Engineer for Expedition 55/56.
He returned from Expedition 55/56 in October 2018. During the mission, he participated in dozens of educational downlink events and ventured outside the space station on three spacewalks to perform maintenance and upgrades.
He has conducted a total of 5 spacewalks in his career and has spent 209 days in space on his two flights.
Richard R. Arnold II was selected as an astronaut by NASA in May 2004. The Maryland native worked in the marine sciences and as a teacher in his home state, as well as in countries such as Morocco, Saudi Arabia, and Indonesia. He accumulated 12 days, 19 hours and 29 minutes in space during the STS-119 mission. The mission objective for the Space Shuttle Discovery was to deliver the final pair of power-generating solar array wings and a truss element for the International Space Station. While on board station, he conducted 12 hours and 34 minutes of spacewalks. Arnold most recently served as Flight Engineer on the International Space Station for Expedition 55 and 56.
This very special event was held at the Space Center where we heard from Astronaut Arnold who spoke about the importance of epilepsy awareness, Purple Day and his fascinating story of space exploration. He shared that stage with Purple Day Founder Cassidy Megan where she told Purple Day stories and talked about her life with uncontrolled epilepsy. Following a Space Center movie about the space program and a Q & A with the speakers, guests enjoyed a dessert reception and guided tours of the Space Center.