NASA Names Chairman for Orbiting Carbon Observatory Investigation

artist concept of Orbiting Carbon Observatory Artist concept of NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory. Image credit: NASA/JPL
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February 25, 2009

PASADENA, Calif. -- NASA's Rick Obenschain, deputy director at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., will lead the investigation board for the unsuccessful launch of the Orbiting Carbon Observatory on Feb. 24.

The Mishap Investigation Board will have four other members. NASA will announce the names of additional members as they become available. The board will gather information, analyze the facts, and identify the failure's cause or causes and contributing factors. The Mishap Investigation Board will make recommendations for actions to prevent a similar incident.

Obenschain shares responsibility for executive leadership and overall direction and management of Goddard and its assigned programs and projects. He also is responsible for providing executive oversight and technical evaluation for the development and delivery for Goddard space systems launch and operations.

Previously, Obenschain was appointed director of the Flight Projects Directorate in September 2004, and was responsible for the day-to-day management of more than 40 space and Earth science missions. He has held a number of project management positions at Goddard.

Obenschain is the recipient of NASA's Distinguished Service Medal, Exceptional Service Medal, Outstanding Leadership Medal, Equal Opportunity Medal, and Goddard's Award of Merit. In 1995, he received the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics von Braun Award for Excellence in Space Program Management.

For information about the Orbiting Carbon Observatory failed launch and investigation, visit: .

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., has managed the Orbiting Carbon Observatory mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. JPL is managed for NASA by the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

Media contacts: John Yembrick 202-358-1100
NASA Headquarters, Washington

Steve Cole 202-657-2194
NASA Headquarters, Washington


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