JULY 2007 http://graa.gsfc.nasa.gov 23rd Year of Publication
|July 10||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, July 6th. Dr. Weiler, Center Director, was scheduled to speak; however, his presentation had to be postponed due to a commitment at the Johnson Space Center. But please attend and welcome our quests, the 2007 Class of NASA Academy interns and their mentors. We expect the interns will summarize their academic backgrounds and give us at least a peak about their summer projects. Their mentors may also speak about the goals the interns are expected to achieve while at the Center this summer.|
|August 14||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: Attendees at the June luncheon were treated to an especially fascinating slide and video clip presentation by Tom Wysmuller billed as “The Colder Side of Global Warming.” Light on politics and heavy on science, Tom delved into the physics of atmospheric heat transfer, the water vapor cycle, ocean currents, and the chemistry used to unlock the secrets of Greenland and Antarctic ice cores. He made the distinction between “Global Warming” and the “Acceleration of Global Warming” due to human activity, and was careful to identify parts of his presentation that included speculation versus hard science. This was the short version of a talk he has repeatedly given at NOAA centers and the nation’s major research universities and institutions. Tom apologized for the brevity of his presentation, since due to time constraints he had to skip through many slides (we got to see about 80 of the 200 he had available). He mentioned afterwards that the questions posed by attendees were not just technically astute, but some of the most insightful ever posed by his diverse audiences. I am sure that everyone, without exception, left with a greater understanding of the real scientific complexity that exists under the “Global Warming” umbrella. As an aside, Tom agreed wholeheartedly with Administrator Griffin’s assessment that “good or bad” judgments on climate change may very well be different for some nations and locations, and gave some of his own examples linked to the slides he exhibited. Additional information may be found on Tom’s web site at http://www.colderside.com.
Next year there will be two major 50th anniversaries for NASA and Goddard. On March 17, 1958, Vanguard I was successfully launched and in the fall of 1958 the Space Act was passed forming NASA. Many of the original Goddard staff came from the Naval Research Laboratory’s Vanguard Project. We would like to have a GRAA-sponsored reunion celebration next March for Vanguard I if there is sufficient interest. If you are interested and want to participate in such an event, contact me (email@example.com) or Ron Muller (firstname.lastname@example.org), who has agreed to help coordinate the reunion. With regard to the 50th anniversary of NASA’s inception, I will be working with other organizations and will keep you apprised as planning progresses.
TREASURER’S REPORT: Bob Wigand reports donations were received from the following: Dick Baker, P. T. Cole, Philip Crossfield, Ed Dalkiewicz, Dan Dembrow, Dave Douds, Lil Fleenor, Tom Keating, Sam and Carroll Keller, Vern Krueger, Bill Logan, Ed Reid, Nancy Grace Roman, Dick and Betty Thomas, Bill Weston, and Chuck Woodyard.
ROAD CLEANUP: Following the June luncheon, a stalwart volunteer crew of retirees (Hal Maurer, Dave Moulton, Paul Rall, Ralph Welsh, and Bob Wigand) completed GRAA’s quarterly cleanup of portions of Good Luck and Soil Conservation Roads.
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 email@example.com. If you have moved or want to make corrections to the address appearing on your mailing label, simply write to our Lanham address or send an e-mail to Strat Laios at firstname.lastname@example.org.
THOUGHT FOR THE MONTH: Don’t worry about what people think; they don’t do it very often.
LETTERS, WE GET LETTERS: Due to limited space, Ye Ed regrets not being able to include all of the notes that arrive in the GRAA mailbox. Suffice it to say that all notes and tax-deductible contributions are greatly appreciated. Of the many notes received, Ye Ed has randomly selected the following for inclusion in this issue:
§ Philip Crossfield wrote, “I appreciate being informed of current happenings. Having retired in ’72, I have few personal contacts any more.”
§ Pleasant (P. T.) Cole wrote, “I retired in 1970, so there are a lot of names I do not know. However, I still find a few and that makes it interesting.”
§ Ed Dalkiewicz wrote, “Thanks for your efforts. I hope the check will help.”
§ Ed Reid wrote, “Enclosed is a donation for postage to keep the newsletter coming. I really enjoy reading it. I remember when Paul Kushmeider and I went to Building 1 when Goddard was being built. We were working at the Gun Factory at the time. We later started working in Building 3 with Ches Looney and Henry Plotkin. There were not too many of us then, but the number grew quickly.”
FROM THE GODDARD ARCHIVES - IT HAPPENED IN JULY: In light of Ron Browning’s notice in last month’s newsletter, we will begin this month by showcasing only one specific launch instead of the three we have included in past issues.
§ July 13, 1995: Space Shuttle Discovery/STS-70 was launched, the primary mission of which was the deployment of Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS) G, the 6th TDRS to be placed into operational use. TDRS-G added to the complement of satellites already in orbit. The TDRS System is a space-based network providing communications, tracking, telemetry, data acquisition and command services essential to the Space Shuttle and other low-Earth orbital spacecraft such as the Hubble Space Telescope, Compton Gamma Ray Observatory, Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite, Cosmic Background Explorer, Extreme Ultraviolet Explorer, Landsat, and many more. STS-70 had initially moved ahead of the launch of STS-71 due to a delay in the Russian Spektr laboratory module planned to be sent to the Russian space station Mir. However, on May 31, 1995, shuttle managers found damage to the external tank of STS-70 caused by nesting flicker woodpeckers that had made numerous holes in the foam insulation. Two days later, NASA managers decided to roll back Shuttle Discovery to the Vehicle Assembly Building in order to make repairs to the foam insulation and STS-71 was moved ahead of STS-70 in the launch schedule.
REMEMBERING OUR FORMER COLLEAGUES:
§ Gilbert Mead, of Washington, DC, passed away on May 29th from a stroke while battling non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He began his career at Goddard as a researcher in theoretical space physics and then in 1975 became head of the Geophysics Branch, where he worked with a team that used laser beams and reflector satellites to find the Earth’s tectonic plates within an inch of precision. At the time he retired in 1987, he was managing a NASA grants program for university scientists studying the Earth’s surface. After retiring, he graduated from the University of Maryland law school. An heir to the founder of a paper company, he emerged in the 1990’s as one of the most prolific arts philanthropists in Washington. Privately and through their family foundation, Gilbert and his wife, Jaylee, have given more than $50 million to theaters in the Washington area. Their love of music and theater really began to take hold when they were involved with Goddard’s Music and Drama (MAD) Club.
§ Jerome Taube, of Washington, DC, passed away on December 11, 2006.
§ Although we unfortunately have no details, we also note the passing of James F. Andrews of Crisfield, MD, and Gilmore H. Trafford of Salisbury, MD.