Richard Robert “Ricky” Arnold II is an American educator and a NASA astronaut. He flew on Space Shuttle mission STS-119, which launched March 15, 2009 and delivered the final set of solar arrays to the International Space Station.
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.