May 2013 29th Year of Publication


May 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, May 10th. Our featured speaker will be Eugene Kiley, former Senior Engineer at Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory. The topic of his presentation will be “Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion.” Otherwise known as OTEC, development of this well-tested process produces an inexpensive alternative fuel (methanol) from coal without burning any coal or emitting any carbon dioxide.
June 11 Mark your calendar for the GRAA Luncheon at 11:30 a.m.

COMMENTS FROM RON BROWNING, GRAA PRESIDENT: Ray Stanford, self-educated and amateur Paleontologist, provided an extremely interesting presentation entitled “Tracking Dinosaurs inside the Beltway” at GRAA’s April luncheon. Many of his discoveries have been made inside the Beltway in Prince George’s County, MD, including his discovery last August of five-toed fossilized footprints of 95-million-year-old (give or take a few million) nodosaurs on Goddard’s campus near where the new Logistics Building (Building 35) now sits. It all started twenty or so years ago when Ray and his children were in the Patuxent formation area where he found dinosaur tracks that have been dated to 100 to 112 million years old. Since those early discoveries, he has become quite passionate and has collected many samples and has even established a museum. Natural track molds are formed when dinosaur feet compress the sand, thus leaving a permanent fossil track. Ray displayed many samples of dinosaur tracks from his museum that he collected, catalogued and determined from which species they came. Dinosaur tracks are abundant throughout Prince George’s County, so for those of you who may be skeptical that such things exist or want to take your grandchildren on an enjoyable field trip, consider checking out the Prince George’s County Dinosaur Park in the 13200 block of Mid-Atlantic Boulevard (not far from the Goddard campus) in Laurel, MD. For more information, check out the park website at or call 301-627-7755.

51stRobert H. Goddard Memorial Symposium: The theme of this year’s symposium hosted by the American Astronautical Society (AAS) on March 20th and 21st was “Success through Interdependence.” The symposium’s sessions were impacted by the lack of an approved Fiscal Year 2013 budget and travel was curtailed for attendees due to NASA’s sequestration rules. Consequently, representatives (including Center Directors from other than Goddard) were unable to attend and participate in scheduled panel discussions. There were few specifics provided about new programs. You may need mp4 software on your computer to access the video presentations and panel discussions on the AAS homepage at Click on the presentations titles listed beneath the symposium banner.

FROM THE GODDARD ARCHIVES - IT HAPPENED IN MAY: On May 4, 2002, a Delta II rocket launched the Aqua satellite from Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA. It is a multi-national NASA scientific research satellite in orbit around the Earth studying the precipitation, evaporation, and cycling of water. Aqua was the first of several satellites known as the “Afternoon Constellation” or “A Train,” with these satellites following one another GCOM-W1 (a Japanese satellite launched May 2012), Aqua, CloudSat (launched May 2006), CALIPSO (launched May 2006), PARASOL (a French satellite launched December 2004, and Aura (launched July 2004). NASA’s OCO-2 satellite is under development and, once completed, is expected to join and lead the A-Train.

TREASURER’S REPORT: Bob Wigand received tax-deductible donations from the following members: Raymond Borchers, Anthony Comberiate, Benita Cooper, Edward Devine, Robert Eaves, Richard Fitzenreiter, Walter Gates, Ray Hartenstein, Robert Hutchison, Michael Lauriente, William Mack, Robert Markley, James Mentall, John Moody, Ralph Welsh, and Charles E. White.

GRAA NEWSLETTER MAILINGS: Members wishing to receive the GRAA Newsletter via email instead of snail mail can simply send an email to Strat Laios at Please consider doing so, as you will help save a tree and GRAA’s mailing fees.


•  H. Dale Hall, Sr., of Pocomoke City, MD, passed away on March 25th. He was a Safety Officer at Wallops Flight Facility (WFF). He was also a logger, a farmer, and a well-known breeder, trainer and campaigner of standardbred horses.

•  James A. Livesay, of Kilmarnock, VA, passed away at age 91 on March 7th. He was an Electrical Engineer at Goddard and installed the first tracking equipment on ships and land stations in Mexico, the Canary Islands, and South Africa.

•  William E. Mathis, of Venice, FL, passed away from cancer at age 83 on April 15th. He came to Goddard from the Central Intelligence Agency in about 1960 and held a number of financial management and program support assignments. His varied assignments included Procurement Officer and Assistant Director for Resources and Procurement. He moved to the Environmental Protection Agency in 1975 where he was Director of the Contract Management Division. He later moved to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget where he served as Director of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy.

•  Tommy Dale Neaves, of Norman, OK, passed away on March 27th. He initially started at Goddard as a Plumber in the Plant Operations and Maintenance Division. After divisions were combined, Dale became a Building Manager in the Facilities Management Division and coordinated with Facility Operations Managers and construction personnel, resolved power outages and other building-related maintenance issues, and conducted inspections with safety and health representatives.

ANTARES ROCKET LAUNCHED FROM WFF A SUCCESS: Folks say that the “third time is a charm.” Well, this time it was the “fourth time was a charm” when Orbital Sciences Corporation’s (OSC) Antares rocket was successfully launched at 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 21st, from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at WFF. Lift-off was followed by a simulated payload separation approximately 10 minutes later and mission completion at about 18 minutes after launch, once the rocket’s upper stage completed planned maneuvers to distance itself from the payload. Apparently the only negative revealed about the launch was that it caused a brush fire near the launch pad, which was battled by WFF firefighters. Following a successful demonstration mission to the International Space Station anticipated this summer on the same launch pad, including the launch of the first Cygnus cargo logistics spacecraft, OSC will begin regular operational cargo delivery missions in accordance with the provisions of its NASA contract. The launch was definitely a well-received boost to the Antares program by both OSC and NASA.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY QUIZ: Take a 13-question quiz to test your knowledge of scientific concepts. Then see how you fared in comparison with the 1,006 randomly sampled adults asked the same questions in a national poll conducted by the Pew Research Center and Smithsonian Magazine. Just go to

GRAA MAILINGS: If you no longer wish to receive the GRAA Newsletter, simply send a note to our Lanham, MD, address or an email to Dave Moulton ( ) and we will regretfully remove your entry from our database.

GRAA MEMBER GARNERS AMERICAN AND WORLD RECORDS: The USA Track & Field Masters National Championships, held March 22-24th at Redskins Stadium, found Charlie Boyle being in a quartet (age group 80-89) who set an American record in the 4x200 relays and a World record in the 4x800 relays. Congrats, Charlie, and we’ll call you Louie Zamperini from now on.

THOUGHT FOR THE MONTH: People are said to be lining up everywhere to join a new support group. These folks are apparently all adversely affected by compulsive talkers (e.g., spouses, co-workers) and the support group is called On & On-Anon!