Goddard Retirees and Alumni Association

                           P.O. Box 163, Seabrook, MD  20703-0163


 APRIL 2007                                     http://graa.gsfc.nasa.gov                        23rd Year of Publication



April 10

Mark your calendar for the GRAA Luncheon at 11:30 a.m.  As we go to press, no speaker has yet been identified; however, perhaps we can just enjoy each other’s company and talk about the “good old days” at Goddard.  Reservations are required, so please call Alberta Moran at 301-937-7762 no later than noon on Friday, April 6th.

May 8

Mark your calendar for the GRAA Luncheon at 11:30 a.m.

June 12

Mark your calendar for the GRAA Luncheon at 11:30 a.m.


COMMENTS FROM RON BROWNING, GRAA PRESIDENT:  Diane Williams, Goddard’s Associate Director, provided an enjoyable impromptu presentation to attendees at our March luncheon on the similarities and differences between managing Goddard today from in the past.  One of the biggest differences is the constraint on the Center Director that allows virtually no transfer of funds within the Center between program and institutional requirements.  This change, as well as the implementation of full cost accounting across NASA adds to challenges the Center currently faces.  Long term issues and challenges always seem to be the same, such as:

§   Maintaining interesting and challenging work that draws the best talent;

§   Balancing funding and manpower available for scientific and engineering work; and

§   Competition between NASA centers, which currently happens to be on the rise.

Goddard is adapting to meet and increase its ability to perform more effectively.  A new science building is on the drawing board, for which ground breaking is anticipated later this spring, that will be located on the now closed portion of Soil Conservation Road near Building 16.


March was our first month to use both e-mail and regular mail to distribute the GRAA Newsletter to our nearly 2,500 members.  The new approach went fairly well, except for about 70 e-mail versions that were returned as undeliverable for one reason or another.  Many of the e-mail errors (e.g., typos or old addresses) have been corrected.  However, if you would like to receive the newsletter by e-mail, but did not receive either the March issue or this issue in that fashion, it is because we do not have a usable e-mail address.  In that regard, please send us your current e-mail address to ensure that you are placed on the e-mail distribution list.  In addition, if you have a spam filter on your computer, please add stratlaios@comcast.net to your acceptable sender list.  With Goddard not currently supporting the mailing fees, until further notice you will not receive a copy of the Goddard View.  Copies of the Goddard View may be viewed or downloaded at the following web site:  http://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/news/gnews_detail.html.  Simply click on the issue you want to view.


I am pleased to announce that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has approved our request for tax-exempt status under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.  This means that all contributions made to GRAA are fully deductible on your Federal income tax.  The IRS letter also states that any bequests, transfers or gifts donated to GRAA are also fully deductible.  Based on this ruling, I am confident we will be able to sustain GRAA newsletters operations with ongoing donations and want to emphasize that there are no plans to require membership dues.  I believe we can rely instead on your continued generosity. 


Thanks go out to Dave Moulton, Strat Laios, and Marge Gustafson’s team of stalwart mail stuffers who have been expending extra duties as we transition from hardcopy to e-mail or hardcopy newsletter distribution and a manual stamping operation.


TREASURER’S REPORT:  Bob Wigand reports that generous donations were received from the following members:  Art & Mary Anderson, Ali Arman, Renate Bever, Sebastian Costa, Dave Douds, Hal & Betty Hoff, Jim Holley, Dave Manges, Frank McCluer, Carl Roberts (erroneously reported in last month’s issue as “John”), Mike Tasevoli, Hugh Turnbull, Carl Walch, and John Webster, Jr.               


ENVELOPE STUFFERS FOR MARCH:  Envelope stuffers for March were Jackie Gasch, Marge Gustafson, Barbara Hamilton, Rose McChesney, Elaine Montgomery, Dave Moulton, Hugh O’Donnell, Bill Shields, Agnes Smith,  Anne Van Allen, and Bob Wigand.         


THOUGHT FOR THE MONTH:  Bills travel through the mail at twice the speed of checks. 


GRAA NEWSLETTER MAILINGS:  If you no longer wish to receive GRAA mailings, please send a note to our Seabrook address or an e-mail to Dave Moulton at davidlmoulton@comcast.net.  If you have moved or want to make corrections to the address appearing on your mailing label, simply write to our Seabrook address or send an e-mail to Strat Laios at stratlaios@comcast.net.      



§   April 26, 1967:  Scout launched San Marco II, a cooperative satellite project of both NASA and the Italian Space Commission, from a platform in the Indian Ocean off Kenya.  It carried two experiments: one designed to make direct measurements of air density below 350 kilometers, and the other an ionospheric beacon experiment developed to observe electron content between earth and the satellite.


§   April 8, 1970:  Thor-Agena launched Nimbus D (aka: Nimbus 4 or IV), the fourth in a series of second-generation meteorological research-and-development satellites designed to serve as a stabilized, earth-oriented platform for the testing of advanced meteorological sensor systems and for controlling meteorological data.


§   April 8, 1993:  The Shuttle Discovery (STS-56) carried to orbit, among other projects, the Shuttle Point Autonomous Research Tool for Astronomy-201 (Spartan 201), a free-flying science instrument platform designed to study velocity and acceleration of solar wind and observe the sun’s corona.



§         Frank G. Cuzzolina, of Fort Myers, FL, passed away on November 8, 2006.

§         Charles W. Heerd, of Bradenton, FL, passed away on March 4th after a long battle with heart disease.  After serving four years during WWII in the Navy, he worked as a tool & dye maker at the Naval Gun Factory in Washington.  He came to Goddard in 1960, where he worked in the Fabrication Division machine shops until retiring in 1981.

§         Enrico (Ed) P. Mercanti, of Annapolis, MD, passed away from complications of Alzheimer’s disease on March 1st.  After serving in the Army during WWII, he received three degrees in mechanical engineering, and came to Goddard in the late 1950’s.  Dr. Mercanti was Project Manager for the Orbiting Geophysical Observatory, worked on selecting explorations for the Landsat and Skylab satellites, managed an experiment that investigated the area popularly referred to as the Bermuda Triangle, and retired in 1989 as deputy to the Chief of the Advanced Missions Analysis Office.

§         Stanley Weiland, of Rockville, MD, passed away from lung cancer on March 8th.  He served as Integration and Test Manager for Nimbus A; Spacecraft Manager for Nimbus B1, B2, and C; and Project Manager for Nimbus D.  



§   Frank McCluer wrote, “[Enclosed is] some cash to cover the costs of the newsletter.”

§   Renate Bever wrote, “Enclosed find a check to help with mailing the newsletter.”

§   Harold Hoff wrote, “Thanks for all you all do!”

§   Art Anderson wrote, “Thanks for all that you do.  The tornados are getting closer.  The last missed us by five miles, but “missed” is the key word.  Regardless, we are still loving it here in Edgewater, FL.”

§   Ali Arman wrote, “To all the persons who toil to get the GRAA Newsletter out month after month – here is a small donation to help with the expenses.  Please continue to keep the window open to the past as well as into the future.”

§   Sebastian Costa wrote, “ [Enclosed] is a small donation to help defray the cost of postage for the newsletter mailings.”

§   Hugh Turnbull wrote, “[Enclosed] is a donation to help reduce the budget/postage crunch.”

§   Joseph Holley wrote, “I enjoy reading the newsletter and am enclosing a donation to help with the mailing costs.”

§   John Webster, Jr. wrote, “Enclosed is a small donation for the mailings.  I enjoy the newsletter and hearing from  co-workers and friends.”

§   Michael Tasevoli wrote, “It’s a pleasure reading the GRAA Newsletter and keeping in touch with past colleagues.  Thank you for the hard work keeping us retirees informed.  Now that my wife and I have moved to Delaware, the newsletter is the only source of updated news.  Please accept my contribution toward the production and mailing of the newsletter.”

§   William Skillman wrote, “ Please accept the [enclosed] donation to assure continuation of our newsletter.  My wife and I moved to Riderwood Village in September 2004, where there are several more Goddard retirees living.”

§   Apologies to William Bryant:  In last month’s issue, Ye Ed mistakenly attributed his comments (i.e., “I can’t thank you enough for the good work keeping us all of connected and hope the enclosed check helps with the budget crunch.  I still remember walking on planks laid on mud getting into buildings on the GSFC in 1962.  Thanks again, as what you do can’t be repaid except by long distance gratitude”) to William Skillman, whose comments appear above.


GRAA MEMBER INDUCTED INTO NATIONAL INVENTORS HALL OF FAME:  Retiree Emmett Chappelle has been named as one of 16 honorees to be inducted in May into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in Akron, OH.  He was chosen for his work with Lyophilized Reaction Mixtures.  In the mid-1960’s, Chappelle’s work assisted in the development of instruments used to scrape Martian soil during NASA’s Viking probe mission.  During his 34-year Goddard career, he garnered 14 patents as well as recognition as one of the top 100 African-American scientists/engineers of the 20th century.