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


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


May 10 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, May 6th. Our featured speaker will be Dr. Peter Hildebrand, Director of the Earth Sciences Division. The topic of his presentation, “Climate Change and You…and Your Grandchildren,” will provide attendees an understanding of the natural consequences of climate change, some of which is occurring due to human activity around the world.
June 14 Mark your calendar for the GRAA Luncheon at 11:30 a.m. and celebrate Flag Day.

COMMENTS FROM RON BROWNING, GRAA PRESIDENT: Dr. Claire Parkinson, our speaker for the April GRAA Luncheon, provided most interesting results from the Aqua mission, a major component of a constellation of earth-observing satellites. Launched on May 2, 2002, Aqua is still providing valuable information on water vapor, CO2, and ozone in infrared and visible bands. It has observed dust storms, volcanic eruptions, hurricanes, oil spills, and icebergs, as well as demonstrating that during an El Nino period, trade winds are not flowing east to west, thereby causing colder water temperatures in the Pacific Ocean off the west coast of the US. Data from Aqua has already contributed to some 3,000 publications and is projected to continue supplying data until at least 2018.

While this year’s Goddard Memorial Symposium covered a broad spectrum of topics, the budget crisis overshadowed current and future plans. Significant science launches this year are: DAWN to the Vesta asteroid; the solar-powered JUNO to Jupiter; GRAIL to the Moon; Mars Sample Lab; and NPOESS Preparatory Project. There are no new large science missions planned after the James Webb Space Telescope (probably in 2018). The Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, a major instrument for measuring cosmic ray), will be taken to the ISS later this year. Although Constellation was cancelled over a year ago, Congressional authorization continues to fund it. There is strong emphasis on technology development along many paths, but no real focus applied to missions. Slides and videos of the presentations can be seen at http://www.astronautical.org (click on 49th Robert H. Goddard Memorial Symposium).

GRAA needs someone to help mail out the GRAA Newsletter. The labeling and sorting is done in Goddard’s Mailroom, but help is needed for someone to take four sorting trays to the Postal Service Bulk Mail Facility off Central Avenue. Dave Moulton has been doing it for several years, but now lives in PA, making the trip a burden. If you live close to Greenbelt, he promises to make the task a cinch. Please contact him at davidlmoulton@comcast.net or 301-249-1783 and let him know you’ll volunteer a few hours (and a few muscles) for only three or so hours a month.

COPIES OF “READ YOU LOUD AND CLEAR!” AGAIN AVAILABLE: GRAA has secured a limited number of additional copies of the “Story of NASA’s Spaceflight Tracking and Data Network.” If you would like to be sent a copy, send a check to GRAA for $5.00 (for postal charges) to our Lanham address. If you want to pick up a free copy at our May luncheon, send a note to our Lanham address or e-mail Strat Laios (stratlaios@verizon.net) and ask him to reserve a copy for you.

TREASURER'S REPORT : Bob Wigand reports tax-deductible contributions were received from the following members: Phil Farwell, Dave Manges, Ivan Mason, Sarah O’Leary (in memory of her husband, Bill O’Leary), Pedro Sarmiento, Bill Struthers, John Webster, and Charlie White.


THOUGHT FOR THE MONTH: Some days we just have to smile and wait for some kind soul to come pull our rear end out of the bind we’ve put ourselves in.


•  Stanley (Stan) C. Freden, of Las Vegas, NV (formerly of Derwood, MD), passed away on March 17th of complications from valve replacement and heart bypass surgery. A Physicist, he joined Goddard in 1970 as Project Scientist for Landsat 1 and continued in that capacity for subsequent Landsat missions. He later served as assistant director for space station user systems and retired in 1991 as assistant director for Earth probes.

•  Gene Guerny, of Arlington, VA, passed away on February 27th from heart failure. He came to Goddard in 1975 as the Chief of Public Affairs after retiring from 30 years in the Air Force. After serving in various other assignments at Goddard, he retired in 2005. He authored 59 books during his 60 years of public service.

•  Roy J. Ledoux, of Jamestown, RI, passed away on April 4th. He was a Design Engineer at Goddard who, among other assignments, worked in the Test and Evaluation Division testing and qualifying spacecraft, systems and components for vibration, acoustics and thermal/vacuum lift-off and space conditions.

•  John B. Schutt, of Silver Spring, MD, passed away on December 2nd, 2010. He was a Chemist at Goddard and worked in the Spacecraft Technology Directorate and later in the Earth Resources Branch, where he worked with remote sensing of vegetation and soil using microwave ellipsometry. His experience with chemicals led him to create an anti-corrosive “paint” used on the Golden Gate Bridge and the internal structure of the Statue of Liberty.

•  David U. Wright, Jr., of Millsboro, DE (formerly of Seabrook, MD), passed away on March 14th. He was a Physicist at Goddard and worked in the Astrophysics Branch of the Space Sciences Division and the Experiment Management Office of the Laboratory for Meteorology and Earth Sciences.

On May 4, 2002, a Delta II rocket launched Aqua, a multi-national, sun-synchronous, satellite that studies the precipitation, evaporation, and cycling of water on the Earth. It was the second component of the Earth Observing System (preceded by Terra and followed by Aura).

EXPLORE@NASA GODDARD OPEN HOUSE : On Saturday, May 14th (from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.), Goddard will hold a community day of fun-filled activities, demonstrations, entertainment, and food. Explore@NASA Goddard will showcase Goddard with a focus on science, engineering, and technology. This year’s theme is “Understanding our Changing Planet” and attendees will learn about Goddard’s research in Earth science, heliophysics, planetary science, astrophysics, and more. You can be part of the action, as Goddard is seeking GRAA members to be part of the event staff by helping guide tours and with other assignments. If you are interested in volunteering for a four-hour shift, please contact either Maria Acevedo-Rivera (301-286-4449 or maria.e.acevedo-rivera@nasa.gov) or Christina Coleman (301-286-1046 or christina.a.coleman@nasa.gov) to sign up as a volunteer.

GRAA MEMBERS IN THE SPOTLIGHT : David Pendick, a science writer at Goddard, is interested in speaking to retired GRAA scientists and engineers about missions they worked on, particularly in the early years of NASA. This is for an ongoing series of articles about Goddard’s legacy to space science and engineering. The material will appear on Goddard’s public web sites and we’ll let you know when a new article is posted. Please contact him directly at 301-286-0984 or daniel.a.pendick@nasa.gov if you are interested in being interviewed. Check out the link at http://geeked.gsfc.nasa.gov/?p=5888 for a recent post about the role of James (Jim) Heppner in the Explorer 10 mission (along with a 1961 photo of “budding engineers” Earl Angulo and Ron Browning).