Goddard Retirees and Alumni Association

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


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



May 8

Mark your calendar for the GRAA Luncheon at 12:45 p.m.  Reservations are required, so please call Alberta Moran at 301-937-7762 no later than noon on Friday, May 4th.  Because of security associated with the Queen’s visit to Goddard, access should not be attempted before 12:45 p.m., and must be via the Main Gate!

June 12

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

July 10

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

August  14

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


COMMENTS FROM RON BROWNING, GRAA PRESIDENT:  Orlando Figueroa, Director of the Applied Engineering and Technology Directorate and intended guest speaker at the April luncheon, was not able to attend due to a scheduling conflict.  Orlando has agreed to reschedule his presentation to a luncheon date later in the year.  To fill the void, Ron Muller and I served as featured speakers at the April meeting. 


I showed a video Goddard recently produced entitled “Sputnik to Orion – Fifty Years of Space.”  I also described a set of pictorial diagrams of the Shuttle replacement system – Orion spacecraft and the Ares family of rockets.  Both of these items were highlighted at the recent Goddard Memorial Symposium.  The video covered robotic and human space flight beginning with Sputnik, Explorer 1 and Mercury up through the International Space Station to Orion and future lunar landings.  The diagrams, produced at the Marshall Space Flight Center, compared Orion and Ares to Shuttle and Saturn V and outlined their technological similarities (e.g., Apollo shape, shuttle engines and segmented recoverable solid rockets, liquid oxygen and hydrogen main engine fuel).


Ron Muller read from several of Ed Mercanti’s memos addressed to Goddard management during his career that are classic tongue-in-cheek humor and related to perceived and real concerns and issues.  His archived “Memos from the desk of” entry serves as a sterling example.  In this particular gem, he postulated that memos from brown desks carried more authority than those from gray desks even though both were inanimate objects.  Ed’s good-natured spirit will be missed.


We provided a tease in last month’s issue indicating that Dr. Edward Weiler, Center Director, would be speaking at the June luncheon.  Unfortunately, a scheduling conflict recently surfaced that will cause him to be away from the Center that day.  Every attempt will be made to reschedule his presentation to a later date.


April was our second month to use both e-mail and regular mail to distribute the GRAA Newsletter to our nearly 2,500 members.  The new approach went smoother than in March, when the process was essentially new to all the envelope stuffers and stampers.  [Ye Ed notes that the new job definition of “stamper” has been added and the workers are balking that they have received no increase in pay].  There were fewer e-mail errors than the first time around, and most have been corrected.  However, we used a few old e-mail addresses that were obviously obsolete, so we have deleted those and reverted to hardcopy newsletters for those retirees whose e-mails were returned as undeliverable.  If you would like to receive the newsletter by e-mail, but did not receive either the April issue or this issue in that fashion, it is because we do not have a usable e-mail address.  In that regard, please send us your current e-mail address to ensure that you are placed on the distribution list.  In addition, if you have a spam filter on your computer, please add stratlaios@comcast.net to your acceptable sender list.  With the Center not currently supporting our mailing fees, until further notice we will no longer be able to send out the Goddard View.  The Goddard View may be viewed and/or downloaded at the following web site: http://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/news/gnews_detail.html.  Simply click on the issue you want to view.


Again I am pleased to announce that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) approved our request for tax-exempt status under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.  This translates to all contributions made to GRAA being fully deductible on your Federal income tax.  Based on this approval, the United State Postal Service permits GRAA to use less costly mailing rates.  It is rather a complex process (i.e., essentially it is less expensive because GRAA has to do work the USPS usually does) requiring additional research.  However, we are hoping to be able to use the non-profit mailing rates starting with the June issue.   


TREASURER’S REPORT:  Bob Wigand reports that donations were received from the following members:  Joe Colony, Ed Dalkiewicz, Ed Devine, Dave Douds, Bob Eaves, John and Ilse Fuchs, Noel Hinners, Nancy Hodgens, Marie Marr, Nathan Miller, Andy Mazurick, Ron Muller, Bob O’Steen (a check plus stamps), David Schaefer, and Bob Ziemer.

THOUGHT FOR THE MONTH:  Experience is a wonderful thing.  It enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again.


ENVELOPE STUFFERS AND STAMPERS FOR APRIL:  Envelope stuffers and stampers for March were Jackie Gasch,             Marge Gustafson, Barbara Hamilton, Rose McChesney, Elaine Montgomery, Dave Moulton, Ewald Schmidt, Bill Shields, Agnes Smith, and Frank Wrigley.


ROAD CLEANUP:  On March 26th, a crew of stalwart volunteer retirees (including Ron Browning, Tony Durantine,     Elaine and Red Montgomery, Dave Moulton, Paul Rall, Ewald Schmidt, Mark Silverstein, Ralph Welsh, and Bob Wigand) cleaned up portions of Good Luck and Soil Conservation Roads.   


RECENT RETIREES:  Curtis L. Evans, Jr., Dino Fasce, Ronald P. Gagne, James E. Kalshoven, Cynthia G. Kelly,   Michael W. Kelly, Gregory R. Manfra, Charles C. Radspinner, Donald T. Silbert, Jr., David W. Walser, and                 Russell L. Werneth.                               


GRAA NEWSLETTER MAILINGS:  If you no longer wish to receive GRAA mailings, please send a note to our Seabrook address or an e-mail to Dave Moulton at davidlmoulton@comcast.net.  If you have moved or want to make corrections to the address appearing on your mailing label, simply write to our Seabrook address or send an e-mail to Strat Laios at stratlaios@comcast.net.      



§   May 7, 1963:  Thor-Delta launched Telstar II for the American Telephone & Telegraph Company to conduct wideband communications experiments between the satellite, the ground station at Andover, ME, and other U.S. and foreign stations.  Scientists also placed emphasis of natural and artificial radiation on communications satellites.  Goddard principally provided tracking and telemetry functions for Telstar II.


§   May 23, 1995:  Atlas II launched GOES-J, the ninth geostationary satellite in a new GOES system of satellites that is a basic element of U.S. weather monitoring and forecast operations and a key component of the National Weather Service modernization program.  The GOES system provides weather imagery and quantitative sounding data for weather forecasting and related services.


§   May 13, 1998:  Titan IV launched NOAA-K, a joint project of NOAA and NASA designed to improve weather forecasting and monitor environmental events around the world.  It was the first in a series of five satellites with improved imaging and sounding capabilities to enhance weather and climate forecasting.  The satellite was designed to provide continuous global images of cloud cover, surface parameters such as snow, ice, and vegetation; atmospheric temperatures, moisture, and aerosol distributions; and collect and relay information from data platforms.



§         William A. “Bill” Burton, of Davidsonville, MD, passed away from cancer on April 5th after a 16-month illness.  He was a WWII veteran and served as an Engineer at Goddard, retiring in 1986.

§         Ronald E. “Ron” Craig, of Annapolis, MD, passed away from pneumonia on March 30th.  He was Head Photographer at Goddard, responsible for technical photography for many early space programs.  He was also a football and basketball film coach for University of Maryland, filmed the Washington Redskins, and photographed presidents and other celebrities.

§         Charles J. McTavish passed away from a heart attack on April 4th.  Still employed at Goddard, he was a Physicist in the Computing Environments and Technology Branch (Code 585), Information Systems Division, Applied Engineering and Technology Directorate.



§   Nancy Hodgens wrote, “Thank you, it’s really appreciated.”

§   John Fuchs wrote, “Enclosed please find a donation to help with the publishing expenses.  I immensely enjoy reading the GRAA Newsletter every month.  Your efforts to keep us informed are very much appreciated.”

§   Robert Eaves wrote, “Please find my contribution to GRAA as I really enjoy reading the newsletters and seeing the names of my “old” friends.  We are still in the ranching and oil business in West Texas.  We have been here for 32 years, but can’t think of anything better to do.  You might say it’s become a habit.”

§   Noel Hinners wrote, “I totally enjoy receiving and reading the newsletters from GRAA.  And as I’d like to see them continue and realize that you’ve got a financial challenge, I figure it’s time to make another donation.  Although I’ve supposedly retired, I am working a lot on NASA consulting, Space Studies Board committees, proposal reviews, talks and the like.  I think my problem is that I don’t play golf.  Continuing to stay actively involved in the space program and associating with folks I enjoy is my recreation.”