NASA Office of Logic Design

NASA Office of Logic Design

A scientific study of the problems of digital engineering for space flight systems,
with a view to their practical solution.

2004 MAPLD International Conference

Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center
Washington, D.C.

September 8-10, 2004

Rick Obenschain bio,Aerospace Mishaps and Lessons Learned

Arthur F. Obenschain, Director
Applied Engineering & Technology Directorate
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center


Mr. Obenschain was selected as the Director of the Applied Engineering and Technology Directorate in June 2000, having previously served as the Deputy Director of AETD since October 1999. Mr. Obenschain has also served as the Chief of the Electrical Systems Center in AETD following his assignment as Project Manager on several of the largest projects within the GSFC Flight Programs and Projects Directorate including GOES, Landsat, and ESDIS.

Mr. Obenschain was appointed to the position of Project Manager in September 1994 with the transfer of Landsat-7 from the Department of Defense. In December 1996, he was appointed Project Manager of the Earth Science Data and Information System (ESDIS) Project, a position he held until October 1998 when he assumed responsibility for the leadership of the Electrical Systems Center within AETD.

Upon his return to NASA in 1988 after working in private industry as a Program Manager for an aerospace company, Mr. Obenschain served as the Deputy Project Manager for the GSFC Space Station Freedom Development Project. In October 1989, he was appointed Project Manager for the EOS Platforms Project, a position he maintained until his selection as the GOES Project Manager. With the successful launch and in-orbit checkout of GOES-8, Mr. Obenschain transferred to the Landsat Project.

Mr. Obenschain began his career with NASA at GSFC in the early 60's as a summer engineering aide, accepting a full-time position in the power systems development area in 1966 upon his graduation. He has worked almost exclusively on hardware development projects since 1966, with emphasis in electrical systems. In 1982, after serving 5 years as a supervisor in the GSFC Engineering Directorate, Mr. Obenschain assumed the position of Observatory Manager for the Compton Gamma-Ray Observatory.

Mr. Obenschain earned a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland. He is the recipient of the NASA's Exceptional Service Medal, Outstanding Leadership Medal, and Goddard's Award of Merit. He is the 1995 recipient of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) von Braun Award for Excellence in Space Program Management.

Return to 2004 MAPLD Seminar: Aerospace Mishaps and Lessons Learned

Home - NASA Office of Logic Design
Last Revised: February 03, 2010
Digital Engineering Institute
Web Grunt: Richard Katz