Goddard Retirees and Alumni Association

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


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



August 14

Mark your calendar for the GRAA Luncheon at 11:30 a.m.   Reservations are required, so please call Alberta Moran at 301-937-7762 no later than noon on Friday, August 10th.  [SEE UPDATE BELOW]

September 11

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

December 18

Mark your calendar for the annual “Magic of a Musical Christmas” trip to Lancaster, PA.  There will be opportunities for holiday shopping at the more than 100 outlets at Rockvale Square, the 2007 Christmas Show (first and second row seating) at the American Music Theatre, and a Prime Rib Buffet at Arthur’s Restaurant.  Tickets are only $90 per person, payable at the time of reservation.  Only 40 tickets are available.  Contact Alberta Moran at 301-937-7762 for reservations.


COMMENTS FROM RON BROWNING, GRAA PRESIDENT:  As a result of schedule conflicts, the NASA Academy interns were unable to attend our July luncheon.  More unsettling is that the interns “graduate” and head back home the weekend before our August luncheon.  This is unfortunate, as we are always delighted to learn about their academic pursuits and summer research assignments while in residence at Goddard.


I urge you to continue to share your stories about Goddard missions or other experiences to be showcased in the FROM THE GODDARD ARCHIVES section.  You don’t have to recall the date of an event or experience.  You don’t even have to send us a serious story, as retirees are usually up for a good laugh (like when Servomation’s vending machine facility was robbed and the perpetrators required the Security Force first responders to drop their drawers).  So, do not hold back on sending your reminiscences.  We’ll fill in the dates of events and experiences, as appropriate or necessary.  Just send your entries to me (arkabee@comcast.net) or mail them to the GRAA postal box provided in our masthead above.


Distribution of the newsletter using a combination of bulk mail and e-mail is apparently working fairly well.  If you experience any problems receiving the newsletter, do not hesitate to bring them to our attention.


TREASURER’S REPORT:  Bob Wigand reports donations were received from the following:  Wes and Carol Bodin, Charles Falkenhan, Ai Fang, Bob Hutchinson, John and Mary Kelly, Bob Kraemer, H. K. Lee, Don Lokerson, Ron Muller, Norman Ness, Paul Rall, and Carl Wagner.   


GRAA MEMBER RECEIVES AWARD:  In late June, recent retiree Dr. Hasso Niemann was awarded the Al Seiff Memorial Award during the 5th International Planetary Probe Workshop in Bordeaux, France.  The award honors researchers for outstanding contributions to the understanding of atmospheres of planets or moons through the use of high-speed probes that enter those atmospheres.  Among his many accomplishments during his Goddard career, Dr. Niemann was the principal investigator for the Galileo Probe’s mass spectrometer and for the gas chromatograph mass spectrometer that was a part of the Huygens Probe.  The spectrometer in the latter mission confirmed that the moon Titan’s atmosphere is mostly made of nitrogen and methane and found the surface of Titan was likely rich in hydrocarbons.      


RECENT RETIREES:  Gregory V. Clarke, John E. Dorband, Paulino Graza, Philomin D. (Dory) Josephson, Lewis E. Means, Henry J. Middleton, Barry D. Nims, Wilmert B. (Mert) Page, Charles J. Petruzzo, James D. Robinson, and Diane E. Williams.            


GRAA NEWSLETTER MAILINGS:  If you no longer wish to receive GRAA mailings, please send a note to our Lanham address or an e-mail to Dave Moulton at davidlmoulton@comcast.net.  If you have moved or want to make corrections to the address on your mailing label, write to our Lanham address or send an e-mail to Strat Laios at stratlaios@comcast.net.  If you already receive your newsletter via e-mail, let Strat Laios know when your address changes.  If you do not yet receive the newsletter via e-mail, but are interested in doing so, let Strat know.


HOW YOU CAN HELP GRAA:  Due to Goddard’s austere budget, it is incumbent on members to keep the GRAA Newsletter a going concern.  Please remember that we now have tax-exempt status as a 501(c)(3) organization under the Internal Revenue Code, so all contributions are fully deductible on your federal income tax.  We will send acknowledgment letters to all contributors, with the first letters sent out covering contributions received since January 1st.   


THOUGHT FOR THE MONTH:  If you look like your passport photo, you are no doubt ready for a trip.  



Saj Durrani wrote, “Two minor nit-picks, just for fun.  The announcement about the July 10th event in the July newsletter had two typos (i.e., quests instead of guests and peak instead of peek.”  [Note from Ye ED:  Saj, it was just a test to determine how closely members read the newsletter.  You would have won the contest for being the first to bring the typos to our attention; however, the interns were not able to attend the luncheon, so there were no guests or quests.  I have also confirmed there were no peeks or peaks.  Therefore, there was no winner this time around, but I wish you better luck with the next test.]

Bob Hutchinson wrote, “My wonderful experiences in MAD productions owe so much to the character and gentle modesty of the very rare gift of Gil Mead to all who were fortunate to know him.  Please accept my donation in his memory.”  




August 9, 1969:  Delta launched the Orbiting Solar Observatory (OSO) VI (aka: OSO-G and OSO 6).  It was the sixth in a series of satellites to conduct solar physics experiments above the Earth’s atmosphere during a complete solar cycle.  The main objectives of OSO VI were acquisition of high spectral-resolution data within the 1-1300 ampere range, observation of solar x-rays in the 20-200 kiloelectron volt range, and observation of high-energy neutron flux in the 20-130 megaelectron volt range.  Seven experiments were carried on the spacecraft.  Two experiments, located in the sail portion, were designed to point toward the sun.  The remaining five experiments were mounted in compartments of the rotating wheel section and scanned the solar disk when the spacecraft was in sunlight.  OSO VI was retired on December 31, 1972.



Robert S. Cooper, of Easton, MD, passed away from prostate cancer on July 2nd.  Dr. Cooper spent a lifetime in service to the nation in both the federal government and the private sector.  He served as Center Director from 1975 to 1979.  After his years at Goddard, he was Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Development and simultaneously served as director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).  After DARPA, he founded an aerospace company.  He also served on numerous corporate boards and government advisory councils.  Dr Cooper’s wife, Benita Sidwell Cooper, was a former Director of Management Operations at Goddard and retired as a NASA Associate Administrator.    

James J. Fleming, of Hyattsville, MD, passed away on June 25th from complications of pneumonia.  He joined the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) in 1941 and during World War II worked on radar and fire control systems for aircraft guns.  Later at NRL, Mr. Fleming worked on a space surveillance system for the Vanguard satellite.  He joined Goddard in 1962 as an operations manager and helped set up data processing systems for tracking and communications networks for the Vanguard, Mercury, and Apollo missions.

William I. Gould, Jr., of Port St. Lucie, FL, passed away on June 11th.  He served in the Army Signal Corps as a radar technician during World War II.  At Goddard, Mr. Gould was an electronics engineer and worked on numerous satellite programs.

Thomas J. McGann, of Holmes Beach, FL, passed away on June 15th from complications of Alzheimer’s disease.  He served in the US Army Air Corps during World War II and worked as a mathematician at Goddard. 

Robert E. Russey, of Seabrook, MD, passed away on June 20th.  He served in the US Army Air Corps during World War II and was an aeronautical engineer at Goddard from its inception in 1959 until his retirement.


                                                                                                     [ UPDATE ]    

 At the luncheon on Tuesday, August 14th, the NASA Academy Program Manager, Dave Rosage, will present a summary of this year’s activities in the Academy and Robotics programs. He will have pictures, and other Academy staff members will join in the presentation.