College of Business, Engineering, and Computational & Mathematical SciencesRicky Arnold

Business Alumnus of the Year Ricky ArnoldCollege of Business, Engineering, and Computational & Mathematical Sciences Alumnus of the Year, 2010

Frostburg State University’s own Richard R. Arnold II has experienced the opportunity that many only dream of—walking in space.  A 1985 graduate, Mr. Arnold received degrees in accounting, marine biology, and teaching.

Arnold flew on his first space shuttle mission in March, nearly 13 days in space in which the main goal of him and his fellow crew members of STS-119, was to deliver and install the final pair of power-generation solar array wings and the trusses to hold them.  Arnold performed two of the three spacewalks on the mission.  These final pieces were required to fully power the International Space Station.

After five years of training, education, practice and simulations, there was little that happened on Space Shuttle Discovery or on the International Space Station that Arnold hadn’t experienced or studied in one way or another.  Practically every move the astronauts made had been rehearsed over and over.  Even the sensation of walking in space had been reproduced in NASA’s buoyancy lab, a big pool in Houston with a submerged mock-up of the Space Station.

As a boy, he followed the Apollo missions, and as a man, he realized a lifelong dream.  He traveled more than 5 million miles in the course of 12 days, 19 hours, 29 minutes and 33 seconds.  His mission gave him an amazing opportunity to “…capture some mental snapshots to think about later.”