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


March 2009 http://graa.gsfc.nasa.gov 25th Year of Publication


March 10

Mark your calendar for the GRAA Luncheon at 11:30 a.m.  Dr. William Farrell, Principal Investigator for the Dynamic Response of the Environment at the Moon (DREAM) Project in the Solar System Exploration Division (Code 690), will be our guest speaker. The proposal for DREAM received initial funding approval in January, and Dr. Farrell will provide information on the project’s objectives.  Reservations are required, so please call Alberta Moran at 301-890-0544 no later than noon on Friday, March 6th

April 14

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

COMMENTS FROM RON BROWNING, GRAA PRESIDENT:  Chris Meaney and Stefanie Misztal from the Goddard Video Group described their plan for gathering and archiving historical information and satellite models as part of Goddard’s 50th Anniversary celebration.  Part of their effort is to obtain five or six short stories from Goddard’s early days to be archived on digital television.  A list of potential storytellers is being compiled.  Several luncheon attendees provided examples of stories culled from their experiences while working at Goddard.  Their stories, ranging from how Goddard’s streets were initially named to happenings at launches in Kenya, were entertaining and exactly what should be included in typical oral histories.  I know many of you have a story or incident you are just itching to capture for posterity.  Stefanie will be conducting interviews to gather more enlightening and entertaining stories from current employees and retirees. Provided it is within commuting distance from Goddard, she will conduct the interviews wherever it is convenient for the storyteller, so contact her at 301-286-6049 or via e-mail (stefanie.s.misztal@nasa.gov) to arrange an interview.


Chris Meaney brought three unlabeled satellite models to the luncheon that attendees identified as HELIOS, Ariel-I, and the Radio Astronomy Explorer.  He is collecting satellite models for display during this year’s anniversary festivities as well as to preserve for future generations.  If you have a model you are either willing to loan for display or donate to Chris for the “Goddard Preservation Society”, contact him at 301-286-4485 or via e-mail (christopher.r.meaney@nasa.gov).


GODDARD’S 50th ANNIVERSARY:  Planning is still in the works for Goddard’s 50th Anniversary; however, festivities have been rescheduled for the fall.  You are encouraged to let members of the anniversary’s “History Team” know if you would like to assist in reviewing and vetting Goddard’s achievements during the years.  Simply notify us of your willingness to participate in the planning activities by writing a note as soon as possible to our Lanham address or by sending an e-mail to Ron Browning (arkabee@verizon.net) or Ron Muller  (r-bmuller@comcast.net).


TREASURER’S REPORT:  Bob Wigand reports that tax-deductible contributions were received from the following members:  Warren Adams, Mrs. Augustin Alicea, Dave Douds, Henry Hoffman, Walt LaFleur, Gerald Longanecker, Dave Manges, Alberta Moran (in memory of Grace Hamilton, Barbara Hamilton’s mother), and Joe Schulman.  A financial report for calendar year 2008 was prepared, printed and distributed to members of the Board of Directors.  The report shows that GRAA spent $3121.45 more than was donated last year.  If not for a $10,000 estate bequest received as an endowment, we would be in a deficit situation.  We strongly encourage all members to make tax-deductible donations, including bequests and memorials, so that GRAA can continue to maintain a solid fiscal status.


RECENT RETIREES   Fred Espenak and Linda Price


THOUGHT FOR THE MONTH:  As we slide down the banister of life, may the splinters never point the wrong way!


FROM THE GODDARD ARCHIVES – IT HAPPENED IN MARCH :  Delta rockets launched the first Orbiting Solar Observatory (OSO-I) on March 7, 1962, and OSO-III on March 8, 1967.  The OSO’s were designed primarily as stabilized platforms for solar-oriented scientific instruments and permitted the first extended study of the sun (from above the Earth’s filtering atmosphere) with accurate positioning.  Experiments of the satellites studied sun flares and other solar activities, X-ray, gamma and ultraviolet radiation and radiation from extra-solar sources.


COPIES OF “READ YOU LOUD AND CLEAR!” STILL AVAILABLE:  We still have copies of the Story of NASA’s Spaceflight Tracking and Data Network.  If you want to be sent a copy, send a check for $5.00 (to cover postage) to our Lanham address.  If you want to pick up a copy at the March luncheon, send an e-mail to Strat Laios (stratlaios@verizon.net) and ask him to reserve a copy for you.



         Lewis J. Allison , of Silver Spring, MD, passed away February 2nd. Lewis started working as a Meteorologist at Goddard at its inception in 1958. He helped create the first successful weather satellites, including TIROS-I.

         Paul G. Brumberg , of Waxhaw, NC, passed away from an apparent heart attack on October 25, 2008.  Among many assignments during his career at Goddard, Paul oversaw the Mathematical Support System for Project Mercury.

         Beverly S. Lewoc, of Silver Spring, passed away on February 10th.  Beverly was Personnel Management Specialist and Team Leader in Goddard’s Office of Human Resources for more than 40 years.

         Yvette Partington , of Silver Spring, passed away on January 17th.  Yvette’s work at Goddard included procurement and accounting duties.

         Michael J. Prokopchak , of Silver Spring, passed away on January 24th.  As a Mechanical Engineer, Michael was instrumental in providing support for military reconnaissance, communications, scientific research, and weather satellites, as well as manned space flight missions.

         William Stroud , of Lacey, WA, passed away on January 3rd. Bill was Chief of the Aeronomy and Meteorology Division in the early 1960’s, where his team developed the first of the meteorological satellites, TIROS and Nimbus.  After retiring in 1990, he and his wife moved to Wenatchee, WA, where they had a small apple orchard, and later moved to a retirement community.

         L. Fern Thompson, of Laurel, MD, passed away on February 3rd.  Fern was an Accounting Clerk at Goddard before retiring and working on similar duties in the Physics Department at the University of Maryland.


APOLLO 10 EXHIBIT AT CHARLES M. SCHULZ MUSEUM:  GRAA member Joe Schulman attended a new Schulz Museum exhibit “To the Moon: Snoopy Soars with NASA” in Santa Rosa, CA.  The exhibit opened on January 31st with appearances by Astronauts Gene Cernan and Tom Stafford (and other support personnel) in celebration of Apollo 10’s 40th Anniversary and the famous cartoonist’s long-standing connection to Peanuts’ characters, Charlie Brown and Snoopy.  If you’re visiting the area, check out the exhibit through July 20th.