Goddard Retirees and Alumni Association

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


AUGUST 2005                                http://graa.gsfc.nasa.gov                            21st Year of Publication



August 9

Mark your calendar for the GRAA Luncheon at 11:30 a.m.  Please attend and welcome our guests, the 2005 Class of NASA Interns.  We expect they will provide some enlightening anecdotes from their summer internships.  Reservations are required, so please call Alberta Moran at 301-937-7762 no later than noon on Friday, August 5.

August 21

Trip to Charles Town Races and Slots, Charles Town, WV.  This trip provides an opportunity to challenge arithmetic odds, but includes a scrumptious buffet dinner if you’re more interested in caloric intake and would rather keep the contents of your wallet intact.  Contact Alberta Moran to sign up or to obtain details about the trip.

September 13

Mark your calendar for the GRAA Luncheon at 11:30 a.m.  Jerry Longanecker will speak on the topic:  “Awareness, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Prostate Cancer.” 

September 29 –

October 3

Trip to the Country Music Capital of Branson, MO, for $875 per person.  Contact Alberta Moran to sign up or to obtain details about the trip.

October 11

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

November 8

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

November 10

Mark your calendar to attend GRAA’s evening at the Music and Drama (MAD) Club’s production of State Fair at the Barney and Bea Recreation Center.  Tickets are expected to be $26.50 per person.  We’ll provide more information next month, but contact Alberta Moran if you want to sign up early.

Early December 2005

Holiday shopping trip and music theater event in Lancaster, PA (date not yet established).  Contact       Alberta Moran for details.

August 2006

Something to look forward to!  GRAA Travel (Alberta Moran) is planning a cruise and land tour in Alaska.  Details will be published in future issues.


COMMENTS FROM RON BROWNING, GRAA PRESIDENT:  The Return to Flight of the Shuttle Discovery, initially scheduled for July 13, pre-empted Dr. Weiler’s presentation at our July luncheon.  However, Rick Obenschain, GSFC’s Director of Flight Programs and Projects, substituted very ably.  Rick described Goddard’s hardware and associated objectives in the return to flight mission.  He showed photographs of the tools, cameras and carriers that are required to locate and repair any thermal tile damage that may occur during the mission and which could be repaired during an Extra-vehicular Activity (EVA).  An infrared camera has been added for astronaut use on an EVA to locate potential thermal time damage.  Tools, somewhat similar to putty knives and caulk guns used in self-help projects around your home, can be used to scrape and apply adhesive material to fill tile cracks.  Throughout the mission, Goddard will provide sustaining engineering for all the tools and carriers, as well as standard TDRSS communications.


Rick noted that Goddard currently has some 75 programs/projects in the formulation, implementation and/or operations phase and that the attendant workload increase has enhanced recruitment of new college graduates, with some 400 new engineers being added to the workforce in the past four years.


Dr. Weiler has agreed to address GRAA later this year.  We’re convinced that problems with the fuel sensor on the Shuttle Discovery will be resolved and ultimately result in a safe and successful mission.



-     Aug 8, 1968:  Scout launched Explorers 39 (Air Density Explorer) and 40 (Injun 5), both dual upper atmospheric research payloads. 

-     Aug 21, 1972:  Atlas-Centaur launched OAO-3 (Orbiting Astronomical Observatory), the “Copernicus” astronomy observatory.

-     Aug 12, 1977:  Atlas-Centaur launched HEAO-A (High Energy Astronomical Observatory), the first of three high-energy astronomy observatories.


TIMELY LUNCHEON RESERVATIONS A MUST:  It is important to make timely reservations to attend the GRAA Luncheons for both food preparation and security purposes.  We’re doing our part by distributing the newsletter earlier than in the past.  We ask that you do your part by contacting Alberta Moran by noon on the Friday prior to the luncheon (the second Tuesday of each month except December).    


ENVELOPE STUFFERS FOR JULY:  Marge Gustafson, Barbara Hamilton, Rose McChesney, Dave Moulton, Hugh O’Donnell, Agnes Smith, Eloise Tarter, Bob Wigand, and Frank Wrigley. 


TREASURER’S REPORT:  Treasurer Bob Wigand reports that donations were received from the following retirees:  William Jennings (via his wife, Joan, who no doubt controls the family purse strings), George Pieper, and Dick Tagler.



GRAA NEWSLETTER MAILINGS:  If you no longer wish to receive GRAA mailings, please forward a note to our Seabrook address or an e-mail to      Dave Moulton at davidlmoulton@comcast.net.  If you have moved or want to correct the mailing address we have for you, please write to our Seabrook address or send an e-mail to Strat Laios at stratlaios@comcast.net.    



-     Richard L. Hawkins of Orange, VA, passed away in May 2005. 


IT MAY BE NOT BE ROCKET SCIENCE, BUT:  Do you think it might be helpful to have an organization working on Capitol Hill to protect and improve your retirement benefits?  Well, the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (formerly the National Association of Retired Federal Employees and more commonly known by its acronym, NARFE) is the only organization doing just that for all retirees!  You may be aware that NARFE has long been represented in the pre-retirement seminars offered by Goddard’s Office of Human Resources.  Although its name has changed a few times over the years, NARFE has been the champion of the federal retiree since its inception in 1921.  Now NARFE suggests that active federal employees who are a few years from retirement consider becoming members to help boost its clout with elected officials at the local, state and national level.  If you’re not already a member, we recommend you learn more about adding your name to NARFE’s nearly 400,000 membership list by visiting the www.narfe.org web site or by calling 1-877-MD-NARFE (1-877-636-2733) and talking with a NARFE representative.  And if you have friends or former colleagues at Goddard or other federal agencies who are nearing retirement (or even just starting to think about it), let them know they are now eligible to join NARFE.



-     Joan (Mrs. William) Jennings wrote, “Thanks sooo very much for sending the newsletter – we appreciate the news.”


E-MAIL ADDRESS UPDATES: John Roeder (jhroeder@nexet.net).


GEWA EXCHANGE STORE:  Do you ever have a strong urge for chocolate that makes you feel like you’ll explode?  Well, now you can have a pleasant “Chocolate Explosion.”  New at the GEWA Exchange Store is “Chocolate Explosion,” a dessert from Deliska.  These are Belgian chocolate cakes that have a chocolate filling and come with an English Custard-flavored white chocolate to dribble over the top.  All you have to do is heat it in the microwave for about 30 seconds, then add the topping and enjoy!  They have no preservatives and are 100% natural.  They come in a box of four, so when you have friends over and feel like “exploding,” just take a minute and serve up these delicious treats.


If you want to change from having crackers with your salad, why not try some toast?  We don’t mean the kind you have with breakfast, but some “Petit Toast” from France.  A piece of this toast looks just like a slice of bread that has been toasted (it’s brown around the edges and is crisp like a cracker), but has a different, unique taste.  Best of all, each and every piece is cholesterol free!


Who says you can only get good cheese when you’re in Wisconsin?  New at the Exchange Store from the Sprecher Brewing Company comes Root Beer and Cream Soda.  This product is brewed just outside of Milwaukee, in a town called Glendale.  This soda is processed in a gas-fired brew kettle and has just a touch of raw Wisconsin honey added during the process to give it a totally unique flavor.  This special drink is available by the single bottle or in a pack of four.  Also from Wisconsin come Waffle Pretzels from East Shore Specialty Foods.  These pretzels are still made by hand in small quantities to give them the same distinct taste they have always had since originally produced in the kitchen of the home that’s pictured on the front of the packaging.


Have you ever eaten popcorn that didn’t seem to have anything on it, and tasted kind of blah?  Well, now you can get air-popped popcorn that’s only “half-naked.”  That’s right, this popcorn has a “little dressing” on it.  From Good Health comes natural, air-popped popcorn that has been tossed lightly in non-hydrogenated oil (this must mean something to you scientists) with a hint of olive oil and sea salt.  Stop by the Exchange Store and try a package.


For those ladies who are members of the “Red Hat Society” and have previously invested in the requisite red hat, do you already have a red purse as an accessory?  The Exchange Store has some styles of purses that aren’t too big or small and go great with red hats.  Remember, no outfit is complete without matching shoes, hat, and purse.  The Exchange Store doesn’t have shoes, but consider checking out the various styles of hats and purses that are currently in stock.


Route 11 seems to be getting longer and longer, with an ever-increasing selection of flavors.  Now available at the Exchange Store are Route 11 Potato Chips in Garlic & Herb, Sweet Potato, and (especially for you blue crab lovers) Chesapeake Crab flavors.  So, if you haven’t yet been able to enjoy Maryland crab this season due to the cost (percentage-wise, it seems the increased cost for crab since last year has even exceeded our ever-increasing gas prices), why not enjoy these flavorful chips as an alternative?  These newly stocked varieties join the Lightly Salted, Sour Cream & Onion, and Bar-B-Que Route 11 chips that have recently been on the Exchange Store shelves.  The new flavors mentioned above were added to the Store’s “menu” based on a customer’s request.