Goddard Retirees and Alumni Association

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


JULY 2008                                              http://graa.gsfc.nasa.gov                        24th Year of Publication



July 8



August 12

Late October or early November

December 11

Mark your calendar for the GRAA Luncheon at 11:30 a.m.  We will welcome and hear from this year’s NASA Academy interns.  Reservations are required, so please call Alberta Moran at 301-937-7762 no later than noon on Friday, July 4th.

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

Although details have not been finalized, Alberta Moran is working up a tour of the Antietam battlefield to be directed by John Baniszewski, registered battlefield guide and GRAA member.  The trip will include a tasty meal at a restaurant along the way.  We will include details of the trip in either the July or August newsletter.

Mark your calendar for the annual “Magic of a Musical Christmas” trip to Lancaster, PA.  Included in the trip will be opportunities for holiday shopping at the more than 100 outlets at Rockvale Square, the 2008 Christmas Show (first and second row seating) at the American Music Theatre, and the delicious Prime Rib Buffet at Arthur’s Restaurant.  Tickets are only $99 per person, payable at the time of reservation.  Only 40 tickets will be available.  Contact Alberta Moran at 301-937-7762 for reservations.



COMMENTS FROM RON BROWNING, GRAA PRESIDENT:  Dr. Waleed Abdalati, Goddard’s Cryospheric Sciences Branch Head and ICESat Program Scientist, provided attendees at the June luncheon to a most informative and enjoyable presentation.  He is definitely an excellent speaker and it was obvious that he has been passionate about his work at Goddard and NASA Headquarters.  While it is unfortunate for the NASA family that he is leaving NASA soon to return to academic pursuits at the University of Colorado, we believe (and will keep our fingers crossed) that he will return to NASA in the future as a senior management official.  As honest anglers are prone to say, “he was a keeper, but sometimes they get away.”  In any case, he provided results from satellites and on-site field observations that demonstrated the fast-changing ice conditions in the Arctic and Antarctic polar regions.  For example, the accelerated ice melt and retreat in Greenland (eight miles per year) is the same in the past five years as in the previous 100 years.  If the recess continues, it could potentially lead to a 220-foot rise in sea level.  [Ye Ed notes that perhaps that has spurred his move to the higher altitudes in Colorado].  The most active ice loss has been in the Larsen B ice shelf (an area the size of Rhode Island), at which 10,000 years of ice accumulation disappeared in one month.  Warmer melt water accelerates the ice flow.  ICESat measures ice flow and recent data indicates that Arctic ice decreased 23% in 2007, whereas previous decreases were normally 10% per decade.  What observers are learning is that prior scientific models were too conservative and the ice returning each year is thinner.  Dr. Abdalati emphasized that through the history of the Earth dramatic changes have occurred in the ebb and flow of ice and he remains optimistic that governments, as well as society as a whole, will effectively respond to recent scientific observations.


ELECTION RESULTS:  At the June 10th luncheon, the following members were re-elected to the GRAA Board of Directors:  Dick Baker, Charlie Boyle, Ron Browning, Barbara Hamilton, Strat Laios, Dave Moulton, and   Bob Wigand.  These members did not seem to complain about the vote due to generous benefits they receive.


TREASURER’S REPORT:  Bob Wigand reports that tax-deductible contributions were received from the following members:  Jeanette Baylor, Dave Douds, Andy Mazurick, Carl Mohrwinkel, Joe Rothenberg,    E. G. Stassinopoulos, Bill Weston, and Chuck Woodyard.               


RECENT RETIREE:  Claude G. Linton


THOUGHT FOR THE MONTH:  Men are from Earth.  Women are from Earth.  Learn to deal with it!


GRAA 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 us or send an e-mail to Strat Laios at stratlaios@comcast.net.  If you already receive your newsletter via e-mail, please let Strat know when your e-mail address changes.  If you are interested in receiving the newsletter by e-mail, simply notify Strat.


FROM THE GODDARD ARCHIVES – IT HAPPENED IN JULY:  On July 12, 1961, a Thor-Delta rocket launched the Television and Infrared Observation Satellite (TIROS) 3 (or III).  It was a spin-stabilized meteorological spacecraft designed to test experimental television techniques and infrared equipment.        



§         Warren D. Jones, of Clarksville, MD, passed away on May 21st after a long illness.  He joined the Naval Ordnance Lab in the early 60’s where he contributed to the successful development of the Navy’s first nuclear weapon, SUBROC.  Jonesy” transferred to Goddard in 1964 and worked in the old Code 500 Tracking & Data Systems organization, where he integrated stations in support of the STADAN Network.  Following retirement, he continued in the NASA family working for the Bendix Corporation.

§         Ronald Kolenkiewicz, of Bowie, MD, passed away on April 24th of complications from cancer.  He was a Geophysicist who transferred to Goddard from Langley in about 1961 and joined the Special Projects Branch in the Theoretical Division.  He later joined the Space Geodesy Branch in the Laboratory for Terrestrial Physics, where he worked in the satellite laser orbit determination program studying plate tectonics and other projects.  He was the Lageos Project Manager and was also instrumental in the founding of the union at Goddard.      

§         Gerard F. Moran, of Beltsville, MD, passed away on May 26th.

§         Clarke R. Prouty, of Elkins, WV, passed away from heart failure on June 4th.  He was a Mechanical Technician early in his career at Goddard and designed many sounding rocket payload structures.  In later years he worked on detailed designs for the Get Away Special (GAS) canisters and helped define the JSC-developed adaptor beam that mounted the GAS cans onto the Space Shuttle.  In later years he was named Customer Liaison Officer for the GAS Program due to the friendly and helpful approach he took with customers.  During his off-duty hours, he was a devoted musician who played in many groups and crafted numerous acoustic instruments.


COPIES OF “READ YOU LOUD AND CLEAR!” STILL AVAILABLE:  We still have some copies of the History of NASA’s Spaceflight Tracking and Data Network available.  If you would like us to send you a copy for your home library, send a $5.00 check (to cover postage) to our Lanham address.  If you want to pick up a copy at the next luncheon, send us a note to that effect or e-mail Strat Laios and ask him to reserve a copy for you.


NASA CELEBRATES ON THE NATIONAL MALL:  For a memorable day trip to Washington from June 25-29 and July 2-6, check out the exhibits at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in honor of NASA’s 50th Anniversary.