Goddard Retirees and Alumni Association
P.O. Box 163, Lanham, MD 20703-0163


February 2011 http://graa.gsfc.nasa.gov 27th Year of Publication


February 8 Mark your calendar for the GRAA Luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Reservations are required, so please call Alberta Moran on her cell phone at 301-910-0177 no later than noon on Friday, February 4th. Our speaker, Tiffany Lundquist, is AARP’s Communications Director in Maryland. Her presentation, entitled “Fighting Health Care Fraud,” will examine some examples of the types of fraud currently plaguing the health care system, attempt to quantify their impact on health care quality and cost, and help attendees learn how to protect themselves – and the system - from scams.
March 8 Mark your calendar for the GRAA Luncheon at 11:30 a.m.

COMMENTS FROM RON BROWNING, GRAA PRESIDENT: This is the first issue of our 27th year of publishing the GRAA Newsletter. We appreciate the notes received from recipients of our monthly newsletter and the generous contributions members make in helping to keep up this “Goddard family” tradition.

Our January luncheon speaker was Preston Burch, Associate Director of the Flights Projects Directorate (Code 400) and Program Manager of the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS). He previously served as the Code 400 Associate Director of the Astrophysics Projects Division and the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) Program Manager, with overall responsibility for on-orbit servicing, mission operations, and science program on the HST. Prior to joining NASA in 1991, he worked on a variety of NASA space missions in private industry, and began his aerospace career in 1966 on the Apollo Program as an engineer on the Lunar Module. Preston presented an extremely information account of the current status of the JPSS. As outlined in our May issue, the White House announced a major restructuring last year of the National Polar-orbiting Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS). Due to budgetary, technical and managerial issues, this decision resulted in the decoupling of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Department of Defense (DOD), specifically the Air Force, in the development of NPOESS. Based on Goddard’s success in procuring major satellite systems over many years, acquisition authority was delegated to Goddard and it became the Systems Integrator. JPSS program/project organizations were defined and increased staffing is taking place; Preston mentioned that personnel staffing is currently at 400+, including contractors. An off-site facility (east of the Goddard campus off Greenbelt Road) houses the bulk of the JPSS staff. The JPSS has collaborative, albeit complex, relationships with other agencies (essentially NOAA and DOD) under an agreement that principal stakeholders will cooperate in ensuring a smooth transition from NPOESS to JPSS. Although progress has not gone quite as initially anticipated and the program is already expecting some slippage in the first scheduled launch in 2015, we expect to see that Goddard’s role will result in another success that will ultimately provide missions providing global environmental data necessary to monitor the earth, efficiently and effectively manage resources, support the Nation’s economy, and protect lives and property.

TREASURER'S REPORT : Bob Wigand reports that tax-deductible contributions were received from the following members - Bob Adams, Mary Adkins, Joe Arlauskas, Ron Browning, Chris Daly, Ed Danko, Casey DeKramer, Dick Dickson, Mrs. John Donley, Mrs. Maurice Dubin, Mary Ferris, Jack Fuchs, Tony Grandi, Jack Hodge, Tom Keating, Jack Koslosky, Tom Lavigna, Ed Lawless, Mike Logan, Gerald Longanecker, Bob & Pat Mackey, Chuck Madison, Paul McCeney, Bernie Peavey, Don Righter, Nancy Roman, Phil Smith, Dick Strafella, Marge Townsend, Roberta Valonis, Richard Weiss, Bob E. Wilson, and Al Yetman.

RECENT RETIREES: Andre S. Burgess and Keith J. Kalinowski.

THOUGHT FOR THE MONTH : Let me suggest forgetting all about even thinking about health food. At our age, we need all the preservatives we can get!


•  Allen L. (Tim) Tyler, of Glen Burnie, MD, passed away from congenital heart failure on January 15th. He was a Mechanical Engineer during his 38-year Goddard career at and worked on numerous spacecraft missions, including the Orbiting Solar Observatory, Mariner I and II, Dynamic Explorer, and Cosmic Background Explorer. He also worked on the HST First Servicing Mission Systems Review Team during its Independent Design Review Program.

•  Joseph W. Bentley, of Lanham, MD, passed away on December 16th. He joined Goddard in 1961 and served for 30 years as an Electrical Engineer in the Engineering Directorate.

•  John Chovan, Jr., of Seaford, DE, passed away on November 26th. He was a Price Analyst at Goddard and had worked in prior years for the Internal Revenue Service and the Agency for International Development in South Korea.

•  John L. (Jack) Donley, of Silver Spring, MD, passed away on December 31st. After eight years at the Naval Research Lab, he was a pioneer in Goddard’s opening and retired in 1994. He worked on the design and development of numerous spacecraft (e.g., Landsat) as a Physicist and considered his work as Instrumentation Manager for the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (launched in 1991) as the highlight of his career.

•  Allen A. Gault, of Jessup, MD, passed away on October 15th. He worked for the Data Systems Branch of the Information Processing Division for much of his tenure at Goddard.

•  Floyd H. Hunsaker, Jr., of Silver Spring, MD, passed away after a four-year battle with bladder cancer on December 31st. Still employed at Goddard after 46 years, he was a Mechanical Designer in the Solar System Exploration Division (Code 690). He specialized in designing instruments to study the solar wind and measure magnetic fields in space and contributed to nearly two dozen missions, including the Interplanetary Monitoring Platform-F, Mariner 10, Voyager 1 and 2, FastSat, and the upcoming Radiation Belt Storm Probes.

•  John B. Sigwarth, of Columbia, MD, passed away as a result of an aortic aneurysm on December 13th. He joined Goddard in 2004 and, at age 49, was still employed at Goddard as an Astrophysicist in the Heliophysics Science Division (Code 670). Dr. Sigwarth’s wife, Dr. Nicola Fox, has been working closely with Goddard for the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory as Project Scientist for the upcoming Radiation Belt Storm Probes.

•  Paul L. Snead, of Chincoteague Island, VA, passed away on January 9th. He served as a Facility Management Specialist at the Wallops Flight Facility.

•  G. Richard Stonesifer, of Rockville, MD, passed away from leukemia on January 8th . He held numerous assignments during his 32-year stint as a Data Technician at Goddard, including service in the former Code 900, the Space Science Directorate (Code 600), and the Office of Systems Safety and Mission Assurance (Code 300). Following his retirement in 1994, he worked as a consultant for several Goddard contractors until 2007.

•  Edward A. Yates, of Front Royal, VA, passed away on November 8th. The father of GRAA member Barbara Yates Comeyne, he retired from Goddard in 1977 as an Engineering Technician.

February 11-21, 1997: Space Shuttle Discovery/STS-82 conducted the Second Servicing Mission of the Hubble Space Telescope. The installation of new instruments (Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph and Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer) extended Hubble’s wavelength range into the near infrared for imaging and spectroscopy, allowing probes to the most distant reaches of the universe. In addition, the replacement of failed or degraded spacecraft components increased Hubble’s efficiency and performance.