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


August 2010 http://graa.gsfc.nasa.gov 26th Year of Publication


August 10 Mark your calendar for the GRAA Luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Reservations are required, so please call Alberta Moran on her cell phone at 301-910-0177 (or use her landline number (301-890-0544) only as a backup) no later than noon on Friday, August 6th. Our featured speaker will be Bryan Franz, Research Oceanographer with the NASA Ocean Biology Processing Group at Goddard. He may be able to shed some light on the analysis of images captured following the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instruments on-board NASA’s Aqua and Terra satellites.
September 14 Mark your calendar for the GRAA luncheon at 11:30 a.m.

COMMENTS FROM RON BROWNING, GRAA PRESIDENT: Following the GRAA Luncheon on July 13th, the recently-elected Board of Directors (BOD) selected officers for the next two years. They are: Ron Browning, President; Barbara Hamilton, Secretary; and Bob Wigand, Treasurer. After some discussion, the BOD decided not to pursue publication of a coffee table book about Goddard due to the lack of a viable History Office at Goddard with which to collaborate and the extensive effort involved in gathering, compiling, and reviewing the copious amount of material warranted in the preparation of such a treatise about Goddard’s vast history.

Guests at the July luncheon were this year’s NASA Academy Interns, their mentors, and the academy staff under the tutelage of Dave Rosage. It is always a joy to meet and talk with such bright students. They described their projects, what school they attend, their major course of study, and what they like about Goddard. To a person, they all asserted that the quality of work and the willingness of everyone to help and guide them made their internships truly worthwhile and memorable. Several were on their second or third tour at Goddard. To qualify for an internship, they must have at least a 3.5 grade point average and have either a science or engineering major with a demonstrated interest in aerospace studies and NASA. The 16 interns were from the United States, England, France, Japan, and Puerto Rico. Three are working on their doctorate degrees. Dr. John Mather, Nobel laureate, provided three $3000 scholarships to qualified interns from the United States.

Due to uncertainty of the launch dates and apparent limited interest (only three responses have been received to date from our call for potential attendees), we will not be planning a group trip to Kennedy Space Center (KSC) to view a launch of one of the remaining Space Shuttle flights. While passes to KSC viewing sites are limited, there are many good sites available near KSC, from Titusville to Cocoa Beach. Members interested in viewing one of the flights can keep track of the launch readiness status at http://www.nasa.gov/missions/highlights/schedule.html.

For some inexplicable reason, a few members have noted they did not receive the 2010 GRAA Membership Directory when they were mailed out in late April. If you did not receive your copy, let us know and we will mail you out one.

BOWLING FOR EXERCISE AND FUN: For members living near Goddard, how about returning to the sport created in Baltimore and dubbed duckpin bowling? Several members will be joining the Champion Senior Bowling League at the AMF lanes in College Park beginning on September 1st and ending around mid-May, 2011. The league’s scheduled time is each Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. There are 3 people on each team and there are 6 teams, but they are seeking more participants. If interested in signing up, contact Marj Gallagher at 301-474-4893 or leave her a message at the bowling alley at 301-474-8282.

THOUGHT FOR THE MONTH: After eating an entire bull, a mountain lion felt so good he started roaring. He kept it up until a hunter came along and shot him. The moral: When you’re full of bull, keep your mouth shut!

RECENT RETIREES Robert L. DeFazio and Carol L. Ladd.

TREASURER'S REPORT Bob Wigand reports that tax-deductible contributions were received from Gus Alicea, Nancy Kupperian, Don Righter (in memory of Bill Hoggard), John Sos, Bill and Eleanor Thompson (in memory of David Sullivan), and Vern Weyers.

FROM THE GODDARD ARCHIVES - IT HAPPENED IN AUGUST: On August 24, 1997, a Delta-II rocket launched Explorer 71/Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE). ACE was designed to measure and compare the composition of several samples of matter, including the solar corona, the solar wind, and other interplanetary particle populations, the local interstellar medium, and galactic matter. The ACE spacecraft, built by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory under a Goddard contract with the California Institute of Technology, carried six high-resolution sensors and three monitoring instruments.


•  Lillian H. Fleenor, of Odenton, MD, passed away following a long battle with cancer on June 25th. Lil spent three years in the Air Force, but the bulk of her 41-year career in the government was served in the Logistics Management Division (or its predecessors) at Goddard.

•  Benjamin H. (Harry) McKeehan, of Olney, MD, passed away of complications from a stroke on July 6th. He began his career at Goddard in 1959 as the Chief of Management Services. In subsequent years, he worked in the International Operations Office, the International Networks Office, and prior to retiring in 1980 had been Chief of the International Affairs Office for many years.

UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY TO SUPPORT GRAA : For members living in MD, DC, VA and WV who are considering the purchase of Verizon cable TV, Internet, or telephone services, please place your order by calling 1-888-695-5299 and providing them with GRAA Code 13142. When you do, and depending on the type of services(s) ordered, Verizon will donate up to $65 to GRAA. If you know of family members or friends who haven’t yet decided to sign up for Verizon services, please do not hesitate to pass this information along to them.

GRAA VOLUNTEER NEEDS GET WELL THOUGHTS : Member Frank Wrigley, who for many years has volunteered to help label the newsletters and stuff them in envelopes (back when we used envelopes), is currently being challenged by some lingering health issues. He’s a tough old Marine, but needs some kind thoughts to help brighten his days. You are encouraged to send Frank a get well card at 9606 Mazzoni Avenue, Lanham, MD 20706.

GRAA MEMBER HELPS SOLVE MYSTERY : GRAA Member Ron Muller helped solve a mylar-related mystery regarding the Echo II satelloon that was launched on January 25, 1964. The “History Detectives,” produced by PBS, visited Ron earlier this year to help them determine if a small swatch of Mylar (with one side covered in a mysterious pink powder and accompanied by a hand-drawn diagram) could have actually orbited the Earth. Ye Ed won’t divulge the answer; but for an interesting video of the episode, go to http://video.pbs.org/video/1513607701.