Goddard Retirees and Alumni Association

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


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



November 13 Mark your calendar for the GRAA Luncheon at 11:30 a.m.  Dr. Peter Hildebrand, Chief of the Hydrospheric and Biospheric Sciences Branch, will be our guest speaker.  His presentation will focus on the hot-button issue of “Water Resources and Climate Change.”  Reservations are required, so please call Alberta Moran at 301-937-7762 no later than noon on Friday, November 9th.  
December 11 There will be no December luncheon due to the many holiday-related activities scheduled throughout December.
January 8 Mark your calendar for the GRAA Luncheon at 11:30 a.m.


COMMENTS FROM RON BROWNING, GRAA PRESIDENT:  Phil Sabelhaus, Goddard’s James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) Program Manager, provided GRAA’s October luncheon attendees an extremely informative overview and status of the JWST.  He described the major elements of the JWST Program and the multiple organizations participating in its science and engineering development.  The system consists of a 6.5-meter infrared telescope assembled from 18 beryllium elements, an integrated science module with four instruments, a multi-layer sunshield (larger than a tennis court), and a spacecraft bus.  NASA’s European partner provides an Ariane 5 for launch in mid-2013 into a Sun-Earth L 2 orbit.  Although JWST’s telescope diameter is 2.7 times larger than the Hubble Space Telescope, the overall cost is projected to be one-third less.  Goddard provides the integrated science instrument module and systems engineering, as well as program management.

A Journey to the Edge of the Universe: An Evening with Dr. John Mather was the highlight of this year’s annual NASA Goddard Reception at the National Air and Space Museum.  During his talk, Dr. Mather described the work of physicists over the past century that laid the groundwork and provided inspiration for his pursuit of measurements confirming the “Big Bang” theory using the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE).  He demonstrated how the COBE Project overcame major engineering challenges with a spacecraft being reduced from 10,000 pounds on the Space Shuttle to 5,000 pounds on the Delta II rocket.  He considers his Nobel award in Physics last year as the culmination of the contributions of many at Goddard who were part of the COBE mission.  He named and thanked all members of the COBE science and engineering teams for their dedicated efforts.


TREASURER’S REPORT:  Bob Wigand reports tax-deductible donations were received from the following members:  Arthur and Miriam Alberg, Doris Bickford, Ed Bielecki, James and Patricia Cunningham, Edward and Charlotte Gladding, Dave Manges, Ken Rosette, Bill and Priscilla Struthers, Adam Thompson, Ethel and Don Tinari, Charles and Helen Trevathan, and Eldon Volkmer.


ROAD CLEANUP:  Ron Browning, Ralph Welsh, and Bob Wigand helped meet the “Livable Communities Initiative” of Prince George’s County, MD, by collecting eight bags of trash and some waste pipe from the roads on GSFC’s eastern boundary.


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 davidlmoulton@comcast.net.  If you have moved or want to make corrections to the address on your mailing label, write to our Lanham address 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 address changes.  If you do not yet receive the newsletter via e-mail, but are interested in doing so, let Strat know.

CALLING ALL VANGUARDIANS:  On March 17, 2008, the Vanguard One satellite will experience its 50th year in Earth orbit.  It will then be the oldest object in space from planet Earth.  A small group of former Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) and NASA folks has been in communication, and a number of government agencies have been asked to commemorate the event.  At this time, no formal celebrations have been scheduled.  The National Academy of Sciences has scheduled some seminars to mark the 50th anniversary of the International Geophysical Year, but at this time, this is the only known official observance of Vanguard One.  If for no other reason than exchanging greetings on the occasion, our small group would like to know the names, e-mail/home addresses, and telephone numbers of individuals who worked on Project Vanguard at the NRL or with a Vanguard contractor.  If you were affiliated with Project Vanguard, please send your name, affiliation, etc., to vanguard2008@yahoo.com.  Once a Project Vanguard celebration materializes, you will be invited to the proceedings.


THOUGHT FOR THE MONTH:  If you must choose between two evils, choose the one that you’ve never tried before.



§   November 18, 1989:  Delta launched COBE, the purpose of which was to take precise measurements of the diffuse infrared and microwave radiation from the early universe to the limits set by our astrophysical environment.  COBE carried three instruments: a Diffuse Infrared Background Experiment to search for the cosmic infrared background radiation, a Differential Microwave Radiometer to map the cosmic radiation sensitivity, and a Far Infrared Absolute Spectrophotometer to compare the spectrum of the cosmic radiation with a precise blackbody.  Each instrument yielded a major cosmological discovery. 



§         Dr. Henry E. Frankel, of Silver Spring, MD, passed away from complications of atrial fibrillation on September 23rd.  Dr. Frankel founded and headed the Materials Research and Development Branch at Goddard from 1960 to 1970 and was chief of the Engineering Physics Division from 1970 to 1974.  He worked at the Department of Energy’s Office of Coal Research from 1974 to 1979 and then joined Fairchild’s satellite division (which was eventually folded into Orbital Research Corporation.  At the time of his death, Dr. Frankel was Chief Scientist at Orbital Research.

§         Dr. George P. Newton, of Ellicott City, MD, passed away on October 24th from Lou Gehrig’s disease.  He worked at GSFC for several years before moving to NASA Headquarters, where he retired in the early 1990’s as Director for Advanced Programs in Astrophysics.



·         Ed Bielecki wrote, “Keep up the good work!  I look forward to the monthly publication for current GSFC news.”

§         Ethel Tinari wrote, “Keep up the good work!  My husband, Don, is busy as mayor of the small town of Cheswold, Delaware.”

§         Bill and Priscilla Struthers wrote, “We enjoy the newsletter very much and hope to get back to the luncheons.  Keep up the good work and thanks to all who volunteer for the good of the GRAA.”

§         Art Alberg wrote, “Inasmuch as we have just returned from our annual three-month tour of British Columbia, I am celebrating by sending a contribution to help with the new postage charges.  Keep up the good work.”

§         Chuck Trevathan wrote, “I always enjoy reading the newsletter  - thanks for your great service in keeping all of us out-of-town retirees up-to-date.”

§         Emil Kirwan wrote, “Well, we finally bit the bullet and left Bowie, MD.  Our daughter lives here in Kansas City, KS, so we decided to retire here closer to our grandchild.”

§         Ken Rosette wrote, “I wonder if anyone still working at GSFC remembers my father, Ed Rosette, from the Negotiations Branch (Code 251).  He retired from GSFC in 1972 and moved to Florida, where he recently celebrated his 100th birthday.  If anyone would like to drop him a line, his address is:  Edward L. Rosette, Summerfield Retirement Residence, 3409 26th Street West, Bradenton, FL  34205.”

§         Adam Thompson wrote, “My wife, Anne, and I were recently in  Lanham to list our home with a real estate agent.  We enjoyed visiting with Elaine and Red Montgomery at the Greenbelt American Legion and at their son’s home.  My wife, Anne, has landscaped our lot in Carrabelle Beach, FL, with flowers and I tend a small vegetable garden between fishing and working on our small timber farm.  Our two great grandchildren love the beach and visit us most every weekend.”


LEADERSHIP CHANGE ANNOUNCED:  Center Director Ed Weiler recently announced that Dorothy (Dolly) Perkins, Deputy Center Director – Technical,  has decided to retire at the end of the year.  She will be replaced by  Dr. Laurie Leshin, currently Director of Sciences and Exploration (Code 600).  Dr. Nicholas White, currently Director of the Astrophysics Science Division in Code 600, will become Director of Sciences and Exploration.