Arnie Aldrich (1936-2020)

Arnie Aldrich (1936-2020)

Arnie Aldrich, a highly respected and warmly regarded member of the aerospace community, passed away on May 28 after a short battle with cancer.  He was 83.

Arnie Aldrich.

Born in Arlington, MA in 1936, Arnold Deane Aldrich received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Northeastern University in 1959.

A 35-year NASA veteran, Arnie worked on every NASA human spaceflight program from Mercury through the space shuttle. Among his many roles, he was deputy program manager of the Skylab program, America’s first space station; director of the Space Shuttle program following the 1986 Challenger tragedy; and Associate Administrator at NASA Headquarters for Aeronautics and Space Technology and for Space Systems Development.

In 1994 he retired from NASA and joined Lockheed Missiles and Space Company (before its merger with Martin Marietta) as a Vice President.  He retired from Lockheed Martin in 2007.

Among his many prestigious honors, he was awarded the Presidential Rank of Distinguished Executive, Presidential Rank of Meritorious Executive (twice), NASA Distinguished Service Medal (three times), Northeastern University Outstanding Alumni Award, Arthur S. Fleming Award, NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, VFW Aviation and Space Award, AIAA Space Systems Award, and NASA Exceptional Service Award. He was a member of the International Academy of Astronautics, an Honorary Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine’s Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board.

Arnie is survived by his wife of 61 years, Eleanor, another cherished member of the aerospace community who is an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and recipient of the 2009 Aerospace Awareness Award from Women in Aerospace.

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