Holiday Issue - Dec 2013/Jan 2014 29th Year of Publication


January 14 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 no later than noon on Friday, January 10th. Dr. Michael Gazarik, NASA’s Associate Administrator of the Space Technology Directorate, will be the featured speaker for our first luncheon of the New Year. He will present an overview of current and future technology development within NASA.
February 11 Mark your calendar for the GRAA Luncheon at 11:30 a.m. GRAA member John Hrastar will share information about his labor of love in retirement of researching and writing a book about liquefied natural gas, the demand for which has recently begun to rise dramatically throughout the world.

COMMENTS FROM RON BROWNING, GRAA PRESIDENT: This Holiday Issue provides an opportunity to reflect on the events of the past 12 months and look forward to those that will occur in the New Year. A variety of interesting speakers in 2013 covered historical events as well as a cross section of Goddard programs and activities. On the down side, the government shutdown took two highly anticipated speakers off the schedule, Center Director Chris Scolese and the Director of Wallops Flight Facility (WFF) Bill Wrobel. Fortunately, we have been able to reschedule them to speak on March 11th and May 13th, respectively. 2014 will be a year of 50th anniversaries of launch for several Goddard programs/projects. Such anniversaries provide excellent opportunities for members to celebrate and reminisce about the “good old days.” We will keep you apprised of any and all reunion dates and locations brought to our attention. I encourage and urge you to share with us anecdotes or short stories about your experiences during those bygone years. I sincerely thank all members who have provided the generous donations received during the past year. Such contributions serve as the lifeblood of GRAA that allows us to continue publishing and disseminating the newsletter and Membership Directory to retirees and alumni without the burden of assessing and collecting dues. And I especially want to thank the team of volunteers who effectively and efficiently accomplish all the tasks necessary to sustain GRRA’s viability for our 2500+ members. Gregory Frazier, Deputy Program Manager for the Explorers Program, provided November luncheon attendees a program overview focusing on Heliophysics and Astrophysics missions. He noted there have been over 90 Explorer missions since NASA began and constitute NASA’s oldest continuous science program. Currently there are two Explorer class missions and three Missions of Opportunity in development. Two new programs directed by NASA Headquarters in 2013 are the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) and Neutron Star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER). TESS is complimentary to the Kepler mission and will look for exoplanets and NICER is being developed in-house to be attached to the International Space Station.

TREASURER’S REPORT: Treasurer Bob Wigand reports he received donations from the following: Sandra Brown (in memory of Paul Villone). Edward Danko, Carroll & Marian Dudley, Gilbert Flaming, Marlene Forster, Anthony Grandi, Ellen Herring, Eugene Humphrey, Elizabeth Jay, James Jew, Paul Karpiscak, George Kraft, Frederick Kreis, Arlin Krueger, John Lahzun, James Largent, Edward Lawless, William Mack, Raymond Melcher, Richard Moore, Alberta Moran (in memory of “Barney” Hoyt), Paul Mowatt, Matthew & Jean Opeka, Bernard Peavey, David Phenning, Edward & Phyllis Radovich, Roger Ratliff, Carl Roberts (in memory of Charles Trevathan), William Schoene, Steven Smith, Marjorie Townsend, John Treimer, Thomas Underwood, Ralph Welsh, William Worrall, and Earle Young.

•  On December 19, 1963, a Scout rocket launched Explorer 19 (Atmospheric Density-A) from Point Arguello, CA (later designated as part of Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB)). It was a balloon placed in orbit to determine atmospheric densities, Explorer 9 had to rely on a camera network because its apogee was lower than planned and thus its beacon did not have sufficient power to be received by ground tracking stations. Re-entry for Explorer 9 occurred on May 10, 1981.
•  On January 25, 1964, a Thor-Agena rocket launched Echo-2 from VAFB. The satellite (affectionately known as a satelloon) was made of an aluminum-coated Mylar balloon. Its purpose was largely one of testing the dynamics of larger spacecraft, though it also was the focus of the first space venture involving cooperation between the US and the USSR. Echo 2 re-entered the atmosphere on June 7, 1969.


•  David L. Byer, of San Diego, CA, passed away at age 97 on November 22nd. He was an Engineer at Goddard from 1961 to 1973 and worked on communications radars for the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo Programs. One of Mr. Byer’s best memories was meeting President John F. Kennedy at Cape Canaveral in 1963. Coincidentally, he passed away on the 50th Anniversary of President Kennedy’s death.

•  Dr. Sushil Chandra, of Gaithersburg, MD, passed away on November 19th. He was a Physicist/Atmospheric Scientist at Goddard and among his varied assignments he was Principal Investigator of the Orbiting Geophysical Observatory (OGO)-4 and a member of the Theory Team for the Upper Atmosphere Research satellite (UARS). He also had considerable involvement with conducting research of tropospheric ozone data from several different spacecraft.

•  Clifford C. Cobb, of Edgewater, MD, passed away on October 30th from complications with cancer. He was an Engineering Technician at Goddard who in the early days of his career helped install satellite tracking stations around the world and later became Head of the Inspection Section of the Facilities Engineering Division.

•  Russell F. DeAtley, of College Park, MD, passed away on September 14th. He was a Machinist in the Machine Shop at Goddard responsible for working administratively with contractors who fabricated/manufactured spare parts for spacecraft.

•  Abolghassem Ghaffari, of Los Angeles, CA, passed away on November 5th at age 106 of injuries from an accidental fall and resulting heart complications. He was a Mathematician/Aerospace Scientist at Goddard and studied mathematical aspects of different analytical methods for multiple midcourse maneuvers in interplanetary guidance, work that was key to the successful Apollo missions to the moon and back.

•  Clarence W. “Barney” Hoyt, of Bowie, MD, passed away on October 26th. He was a Photographer at Goddard and later became longtime Manager of the Recreation Center.

•  Dr. Arthur Y. Hou, of Potomac, MD, passed away on November 20th from pancreatic cancer. He was a Physicist/Project Scientist at Goddard and still employed as Project Scientist for the Global Precipitation Measurement mission scheduled to be launched from Japan in early 2014. Among other previous assignments, he was Deputy Project Scientist of the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission.

•  Carl Rhodes, of Chincoteague, VA, passed away on June 6th. He was a Mechanic at Goddard who worked for over 30 years on rocket motors on Wallops Island at WFF.

•  Dr. Ballard E. Troy, Jr., of College Park, MD, passed away on October 13th. He was a Physicist at Goddard for 10+ years who, among other assignments, worked on research associated with the OGO-3 satellite and the International Satellite for Ionospheric Studies.

MEMORIAL TRIBUTE FOR “BARNEY” HOYT : It is apparently indisputable that “Barney” Hoyt touched more lives' of the Goddard “family” during his long tenure as Manager of the Barney & Bea Recreation Center than anyone else who ever worked at the Center. Therefore, we believe he deserves to be honored with a special tribute and the poem “God Saw You Getting Tired,” which is attributed to Frances and Kathleen Coello, has been selected as being most appropriate. For Barney: God saw you getting tired, a cure was not to be. So he put his arms around you and whispered, “Come to me.” With tearful eyes we watched you and saw you fade away. Although we loved you dearly, we could not make you stay. A golden heart stopped beating, your tender hands at rest. God took you home to prove to us he only takes the best.

THOUGHT FOR THE MONTH: Have you ever wondered why glue doesn’t stick to the inside of its bottle?