James E. Oberg ’66

With this presentation of Ohio Wesleyan University’s Distinguished Achievement Citation, the Ohio Wesleyan Alumni Association Board of Directors is honored to recognize former NASA Space Engineer James E. Oberg for his dedication to the science of space.

Jim graduated from Ohio Wesleyan in 1966, earning a degree in Mathematics. He later earned Master of Science degrees in Applied Mathematics and Computer Science, respectively, from Northwestern University and the University of New Mexico.

Since his time at Ohio Wesleyan, Jim has served in the U.S. Air Force and spent more than 20 years working as a NASA engineer. In 1997, he earned NASA’s Sustained Superior Performance Award for his design of the first space station assembly mission.

An accomplished journalist, Jim also has written more than 1,000 magazine and newspaper articles, working as a correspondent and consultant for UPI, ABC, NBC, and MSNBC. In 1991, PBS created a documentary series based on his book Red Star in Orbit, which details the history of the Soviet space program. He also has written books on the Soviet and Chinese space programs as well as fantasy space travel.

Jim has won many awards for his written works and study of space, including the Jonathan Eberhart Planetary Sciences Journalism Award from the American Astronomical Society for his Astronomy magazine article, “Torrid Mercury’s Ice Poles.”

He is a Fellow of the British Interplanetary Society and became the first foreign member of the Russian Academy of Cosmonautics in 1993. Jim is fluent in English, French, and Russian and has testified before Congress many times.

For all of his astronomical accomplishments, it is with great pride that we award James E. Oberg the Ohio Wesleyan Distinguished Achievement Citation.