Status: Active 2004-on. Born: 1963-11-26. Spaceflights: 2 . Total time in space: 209.56 days. Birth Place: Cheverly, Maryland.
Grew up in Bowie, Maryland. Educated Frostburg State; Maryland.
Official NASA Biography as of June 2016:Richard R. Arnold II
PERSONAL DATA: Born in Cheverly and raised in Bowie, Maryland. Married to Eloise Miller Arnold of Bowie, Maryland. They have two daughters. Enjoys running, fishing, reading, kayaking, bicycling, ornithology, paleontology and guitar.
ORGANIZATIONS: International Technology Education Association
EXPERIENCE: Arnold began working at the United States Naval Academy in 1987 as an Oceanographic Technician. Upon completing his teacher certification program, he accepted a position as a science teacher at John Hanson Middle School in Waldorf, Maryland. During his tenure, he completed a Masters program while conducting research in biostratigraphy at the Horn Point Environmental Laboratory in Cambridge, Maryland. Upon matriculation, Arnold spent another year working in the Marine Sciences including time at the Cape Cod National Seashore and aboard a sail training/oceanographic vessel headquartered in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. In 1993, Arnold joined the faculty at the Casablanca American School in Casablanca, Morocco, teaching college prepatory Biology and Marine Environmental Science. During that time, he began presenting workshops at various international education conferences focusing on science teaching methodologies. In 1996, he and his family moved to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where he was employed as a middle and high school science teacher and Science Department Chair at the American International School. In 2001, Arnold was hired by International School Services to teach middle school mathematics and science at the International School of Kuala Kencana in West Papua, Indonesia. In 2003, he accepted a similar teaching position at the American International School of Bucharest in Bucharest, Romania.
NASA EXPERIENCE: Selected as a Mission Specialist by NASA in May 2004. In February 2006 he completed Astronaut Candidate Training that included scientific and technical briefings, intensive instruction in Shuttle and International Space Station systems, physiological training, T-38 flight training, and water and wilderness survival training. In August 2007, he completed aquanaut training and served as a mission specialist on a joint NASA-NOAA mission, NEEMO 13 (NASA Extreme Environment Mission Objectives), where he lived and worked in and around Aquarius - the world's only undersea laboratory. During the 10 day mission, the crew of NEEMO XIII conducted experiments and operations in a simulated lunar outpost in support of our nation's visions for a return to Moon and the future exploration of Mars.
SPACE FLIGHT EXPERIENCE: STS-119 Discovery (March 15-28, 2009) was the 125th Shuttle flight, the 36th flight of Discovery and the 28th Shuttle flight to the International Space Station. The primary objective of this flight was to deliver the final pair of power-generating solar array wings and truss element to the International Space Station. The mission also delivered and returned with an expedition crew member. During this mission, Arnold accumulated 12 hours and 34 minutes of EVA during 2 spacewalks. Discovery landed at Kennedy Space Center, Florida, having traveled 202 orbits and 5.3 million miles in 12 days 19 hours and 29 minutes.
Official NASA Biography - May 2004
Ricky Arnold, Mission Specialist-Educator
BORN: Cheverly, Maryland
EDUCATION: BS, Accounting, Frostburg State Univ., MD, 1985; MS, Marine, Estuarine and Environmental Science, University of Maryland, 1992
CURRENT JOB: Math and Science Teacher, American International School, Bucharest, Romania
QUICK FACT: Has also taught in Morocco and Saudi Arabia
QUOTE: "I am excited about the future missions. Getting back to the moon will be a big step."
"When you do a web search on 'astronaut training,'" says astronaut candidate Ricky Arnold, "you come up with Malaysia's plan for training astronauts, as well as Japan's, South Korea's, and Europe's. There's a lot of international interest in space travel."
Arnold has a lot of international interests, too. For the past decade, he's been teaching science and math in schools from Morocco to Romania. Soon, the cosmos may be his classroom.
Arnold, 40, has been selected to train as one of three educator astronauts, fully-qualified mission specialists who will embody NASA's mission to inspire the next generation of explorers. He reports for training this summer to NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston.
"My kids have never lived in America before," he laughs, "even though they think of it as home."
"I've had an interest in space since I was a kid," Arnold says, "but being a pilot wasn't my thing. When NASA started looking for people with my skills, I thought: Here's my opportunity. I hope to make a real connection with schools, to get them excited about what's going on in human space flight.
"The International Space Station is a great model for what people can accomplish when they work together," he says.
Arnold teaches a variety of science and math classes at the American International School in Bucharest, Romania. Students at the school include the children of Americans living in Romania, as well as local children, many of whom hope to study in the United States someday.
"It's remarkable, when my students are out socializing," Arnold says, "the different languages you hear, the different religious beliefs, different holidays. I am always learning something from the kids."
Arnold grew up in Bowie, Maryland, and his family still keeps a house on Maryland's Eastern Shore. He attended two Maryland colleges, earning a Bachelor of Science at Frostburg State and a Master's at the University of Maryland. Arnold's wife and two daughters will accompany him to Houston.
"Just getting selected to train as an astronaut is a dream assignment. I'll do whatever NASA needs me to do," he says. "I am excited about the future missions. Getting back to the moon will be a big step."
The group was selected to provide pilot and mission specialists for post-ISS spaceflights to the moon and beyond. Qualifications: Pilots: Bachelor's degree in engineering, biological science, physical science or mathematics. Advanced degree desirable. At least 1,000 flight-hours of pilot-in-command time. Flight test experience desirable. Excellent health. Vision minimum 20/50 uncorrected, correctable to 20/20 vision; maximum sitting blood pressure 140/90. Height between 163 and 193 cm.
Mission Specialists: Bachelor's degree in engineering, biological science, physical science or mathematics and minimum three years of related experience or an advanced degree. Vision minimum 20/150 uncorrected, correctable to 20/20. Maximum sitting blood pressure of 140/90. Height between 150 and 193 cm.. Due to a surplus of astronauts and a dearth of missions, NASA cancelled the planned 2002 astronaut selection. The next call for applications was made in May 2003, with a due date of 1 July. 'Educator astronauts' were especially requested, and 1100 applications were received in this category. The final selection was two pilots and nine mission specialists; nine men and two women. Given the drastic reduction if shuttle flights and ISS crew size planned for the post-Columbia disaster period, the chances for astronauts from this group flying in the next decade seemed slim indeed. Also training in this group were three NASDA astronauts from Japan.
The crew exited from the Quest module at 17:12 GMT to mate the S6 truss to the end of the S5 truss on the station. S6, maneuvered by the station's robot arm, made contact with S5 at 18:17 GMT and was bolted in place by the astronauts at 19:06 GMT. The crew spent several hours in removing covers and making connection betwen the station and the S6 before returning to the Quest airlock at 23:20 GMT.