Famous for her work with NASA, McArthur served as Capsule Communicator for the Space Shuttle Discovery's 2006 STS-116 mission and went on to assist both the Atlantis' STS-117 mission and the STS-125 Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission.
After completing her bachelor's degree in Aerospace Engineering at the University of California, Los Angeles, she received a doctorate in Oceanography from the University of California, San Diego's Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
As a graduate student researcher, she held the title of Chief Scientist during several aquatic data collection projects.
Though she was born in Hawaii, she was raised primarily in Mountain View, California. Her husband, Robert L. Behnken, also had a career as a NASA astronaut.
She and fellow astronaut William Oefelein were both on the crew of NASA's STS-116 mission.