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American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics



    Dr. Arthur F. "Rick" Obenschain to Receive AIAA National Capital Section
    Barry M. Goldwater Educator Award

    April 28, 2010 – Reston, Va. – Dr. Arthur F. “Rick” Obenschain, deputy director, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, has won the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) National Capital Section’s 2014 Barry M. Goldwater Educator Award. Obenschain will receive the award on April 30, during the AIAA Aerospace Spotlight Awards Gala at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, in Washington, D.C.

    The Barry M. Goldwater Educator Award commemorates former Arizona Senator Barry M. Goldwater’s support of education and honors an individual of national stature supporting the advances of technology education. Obenschain is being honored for his “outstanding career achievements at NASA, exceptional contributions to the national space program, and unwavering dedication to the advancement of all aerospace students and professionals.”

    As the NASA Goddard’s deputy director, since 2007, Obenschain is responsible for executive leadership and overall direction and management of the center, its assigned programs and projects. Additionally, he also provides executive oversight and technical evaluation for the development and delivery for launch and operations for the space systems assigned to Goddard. Obenschain arrived at NASA Goddard in the early 1960s as a summer engineering aid, and stayed on as a full-time employee upon his graduation from college in 1966. Since that time, the majority of Obenschain’s work has focused on the field of hardware development with an emphasis in electrical systems. In 1982, Obenschain assumed the position of observatory manager for the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory, and eventually left NASA to work in private industry. Obenschain returned to NASA in 1988 as the deputy project manager for the Goddard Space Station Freedom Development Project. In October, 1989, Obenschain became project manager of the Earth Observing System (EOS) Platforms Project, and later led the GOES project. In 1996, Obenschain became project manager of the Earth Science Data and Information System (ESDIS) Project, followed by his selection as Director of the Applied Engineering and Technology Directorate in 2000.

    Among Obenschain’s numerous honors are the 1995 AIAA von Braun Award for Excellence in Space Program Management, a NASA Distinguished Service Medal, a NASA Exceptional Service Medal, and Goddard’s Award of Merit.

    For more information on the Barry M. Goldwater Educator Award, contact AIAA National Capital Section Chair Supriya Banarjee at



    AIAA is the largest aerospace professional society in the world, serving a diverse range of more than 35,000 individual members from 80 countries, and 100 corporate members. AIAA members help make the world safer, more connected, more accessible, and more prosperous. For more information, visit, or follow us on Twitter @AIAA.



    American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
    1801 Alexander Bell Drive, Suite 500, Reston, VA 20191-4344
    Phone: 703.264.7558 Fax: 703.264.7551