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


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


November 8 Mark your calendar for the GRAA Luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Reservations are required, so either contact Alberta Moran on her cell phone at 301-910-0177 or via e-mail at mdspacebr@aol.com no later than noon on Friday, November 4th. Our featured speaker will be Dr. Neil Gehrels, Chief of Goddard’s Astroparticle Physics Laboratory. His presentation is entitled “Gamma Ray Bursts and the Birth of Black Holes.” He is also Principal Investigator for the SWIFT mission, Deputy Project Scientist for the Fermi gamma-ray mission, Mission Scientist for INTEGRAL, and Project Scientist for WFIRST. Dr. Gehrels is also a professor at the University of Maryland and an adjunct professor at Penn State.
December There will be no GRAA Luncheon due to December’s many holiday-related events.

COMMENTS FROM RON BROWNING, GRAA PRESIDENT: Our speaker at the October GRAA Luncheon was GRAA member Dr. Arlin Krueger. He described his experiences as Principal Investigator for the Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS) on the Meteor 3 satellite. TOMS on Meteor 3 was unique in that it was the first and last NASA instrument to fly on a Soviet satellite. Meteor 3/TOMS was launched on August 15, 1991, exactly on the date and time NASA requested. The political coup against Mikhail Gorbachev, President of the Soviet Union, ended just four days later. Fortunately, this had no affect on the Meteor 3/TOMS operations or on data acquisition or NASA personnel flying in or out of Russia. Dr. Krueger credited Dr. Charles (Chuck) Cote for the program’s success in his management of interfaces with Russia and the unknown spacecraft. The launch vehicle, named Cyclone, was integrated horizontally and fueled with hydrazine after being raised to vertical on the launch pad. The spacecraft used a pressurized container for the electronics. TOMS required solid state memory to supplement the spacecraft data system, which posed a potential problem in technology transfer. Therefore, the memory was welded closed at NASA and taken to the US Embassy when no NASA representatives were at the integration site. Dr. Krueger was a Principal Investigator or Senior Scientist for TOMS dating back to Nimbus-7, which was launched in 1978. Ozone maps of the globe are produced on a daily basis. Meteor 3 provided this source of data from 1991 to 1994, when lack of good thermal control caused TOMS to fail. He exhibited a typical global ozone map generated from TOMS data and the hole over Antarctica which is attributed to Freon in the atmosphere. Dr. Krueger noted that the break-up of the Soviet Union left its scientists without funding, to include salaries for its scientists. During his presentation, he introduced Dr. Nikolay Krotkov, who worked with him and other NASA scientists as a post-doctoral scientist on Meteor 3/TOMS and has been a Goddard employee since that time.

RECENT RETIREES: Donald E. Carson, William R. Jones, Kenneth E. Lehtonen, and James A. Smith.

TREASURER’S REPORT: Bob Wigand reports tax-deductible contributions were received from the following members: Robert Eaves, Wayne Hembree, Eugene Humphrey, Roger Jenkin, and Mary Alice Wigand.

GODDARD VISITOR CENTER NEEDS TLC FOR APOLLO COMMAND MODULE: There is a full-size model of an Apollo Command Module on display in the Rocket Garden behind the Visitor Center. It has been allowed to sit outside without proper cover for years, and the Visitor Center would like to learn about its history and restore it to better condition. It needs to be cleaned, painted, caulked in places to eliminate leaks and preclude water condensing inside, etc. Folks with Apollo experience are also needed to help turn it into a valuable outreach and educational asset for the large numbers of visitors who view it. If you would like to volunteer your time and talent to this worthwhile project, please contact William Buckingham at 301-286-7031 or william.l.buckingham@nasa.gov .

THOUGHT FOR THE MONTH: We really know we’ve become senior citizens when our narrow waists and broad minds start to change places.


•  James P. (Pat) Gary, of Glen Burnie, MD, passed away on September 15th. Still employed as a Computer Scientist at Goddard at his passing and, among other duties, served as Head, Networks and IT Security Branch.

•  Morris (Morry) Gelman, of Bowie, MD, passed away at age 91 on September 19th. He was an Aerospace Engineer, joining NASA in 1961 where he served as a lead engineer on the Atlas launch vehicle for Project Mercury. He came to Goddard in 1971 and helped design weather and communications satellites (e.g., Solar Maximum Mission, GOES, and TDRS).

•  Susan J. Leszkiewicz, of Rockville, MD, passed away unexpectedly on August 29th. As an Information Technology Specialist, she served her entire working career at Goddard – beginning as a Systems Manager in the Flight Dynamics Division before transferring to the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) Project as the Flight/Ground Systems Manager, where she supported HST Servicing Missions 1, 2, 3A, and 3B before retiring in 2007.

•  Paul D. Lowman, Jr., of Bowie, MD, passed away on September 29th. He was hired at Goddard in 1959 as a Geophysicist and, after 50+ years, was still on the Goddard rolls at the time of his passing. For much of his career, he commuted from his home to work by bicycle.

•  Wilbur C. Nyberg, of Annandale, VA, passed away at age 94 on March 4th. He was a Chemical Engineer and, as a Senior Scientist, he was Project Coordinator for the UK-7 satellite. Other projects on which he served included the Ariel 4, Echo II, and NOAA 5 satellites.

•  William N. Weston, of Washington, DC, passed away on September 27th. He was an Aerospace Engineer and at Goddard served, among other capacities, as Mathematician/Programmer in the Mission Support Computing Analysis Division.

November 6, 1965: A Delta rocket launched the Geodetic Earth Orbiting Satellite-A (also known as GEOS-1 and Explorer 29). It was the first successful active spacecraft of the National Geodetic Satellite Program. Acquisition and recording of data were the responsibility of the Space Tracking and Data Acquisition Satellite System network.

INVITATION TO EXPLORING LEADERSHIP COLLOQUIA SERIES : For retirees in the GSFC commuting area, members are invited to attend the Exploring Leadership Colloquia Series. Upcoming colloquia are scheduled on November 3rd and December 6th at 10:00 a.m. in the Building 3 Auditorium. The November colloquium features Simon Sinek, who teaches leaders, organizations and companies how to inspire people. The December colloquium will highlight Wes Moore, who tells a compelling story about another Wes Moore he met in Baltimore and examined how their lives diverged. If interested in attending one or both of these colloquia, please contact Gail Williams at gail.s.williams@nasa.gov or 301-286-0159 at least three days in advance of the presentation date.

UPPER ATMOSPHERE RESEARCH SATELLITE (UARS) DEBRIS FOUND : We recently came across a video of the UARS landing site and debris when it returned to Earth in September. Check out this dramatic video at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fgTyiaDmytw.