ARTHUR AIKIN Jr.

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AIKIN Arthur Coldren Aikin, Jr., (Age 84) A pioneer in space research who worked in areas of ionospheric physics, planetary atmospheres, and cometary structure, died September 28, 2017 at Howard County General Hospital of congestive heart failure. Dr. Aikin began his career helping launch scientific sounding rockets in Algeria for the French Government before joining NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in 1961, and for several years he served as head of a NASA scientific branch involved in rocket exploration of the ionosphere and middle atmosphere. He went on to head multiple sounding rocket campaigns in the U.S. as well as Argentina, Brazil, Greece, India, Norway, Spain, and Sweden. He served as a consultant to the NASA lunar landing program, and as a scientific investigator on several satellite projects. A co-investigator on the Voyager planetary mission, he developed the first model of atmospheric species on Saturn's moon Titan. As a scientific advisor to Senator Pete Domenici, Dr. Aikin assisted in drafting the amendment to the Clean Air Act that regulated ozone-destroying CFC's. He lectured on ozone and global warming in Japan on a fellowship from the Japanese government, and taught courses at the University of Maryland and the U.S. Naval Academy. The author of over 100 scientific publications, one of Dr. Aikin's papers is among the ten most cited articles in geophysics. Following his retirement from Goddard, Dr. Aikin served as an emeritus scientist at Goddard. He was a research professor in the Physics Department of the Catholic University of America and also served as a consultant to Howard University. He was principal investigator of an Air Force project in cooperation with the University of Bremen in Germany. Dr. Aikin was born in 1932 in Gettysburg, PA., to the late Arthur C. and Kathryn (Bender) Aikin. He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Dorothy Jeanne; his daughter, Kathryn Aikin (Daniel Gross); his son, Jeffrey Aikin (Shelly Smith); his granddaughter Eleanor Gross, and his grandsons Jeffrey Gross and Oliver Aikin. A graduate of Gettysburg College, Dr. Aikin received his Ph.D. in physics from Penn State, and served on advisory boards for both institutions. He was an elder in the Colesville Presbyterian Church, in Silver Spring, MD. In lieu of flowers, gifts in his memory may be sent to the Scholarship Fund at Gettysburg College or to Colesville Presbyterian Church. A memorial service will be held at Colesville Presbyterian Church at 10:30 a.m. on November 4, 2017.A memorial service will be held at Colesville Presbyterian Church at 10:30 a.m. on November 4, 2017.
Published in The Washington Post on Oct. 15, 2017
Arrangements under the direction of:
Hines-Rinaldi Funeral Home
11800 NEW HAMPSHIRE AVE | Silver Spring, MD 20904 | (301) 622-2290
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