Goddard Retirees and Alumni Association

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


AUGUST 2006                                  http://graa.gsfc.nasa.gov                       22nd Year of Publication


August 8 Mark your calendar for the GRAA Luncheon at 11:30 a.m.  The Office of Public Affairs is in the process of identifying an available speaker from the expert severe storm scientists supporting Goddard’s participation in the NASA/GSFC “Hurricane Campaign.”  Reservations are required, so please call Alberta Moran at 301-937-7762 no later than noon on Friday, August 4th. 
September 12
The monthly luncheon is cancelled; however, mark your calendar for the GRAA Crab Feast at the Barney and Bea Recreation Center starting at 4:30 p.m.  There will be steamed crabs, salads, hamburgers, hot dogs, corn-on-the-cob, desserts, and assorted beverages.  The cost will be $25 for all you can eat and drink.  Plan on bringing your spouse and make it a special summertime treat.  Reservations are required in advance to order the crabs, so please call Alberta Moran no later than Friday, August 25th.
October  10 Mark your calendar the GRAA luncheon at 11:30 a.m.
November 30 Holiday shopping trip and music theater event in Lancaster, PA, at the cost of $90.  The trip includes bus transportation, shopping at Rockvale Square (with over 100 outlets), second or third row seats for the 2006 Christmas Show at the American Music Theatre, and a prime rib buffet dinner at Arthur’s.  This will essentially be a 12-hour excursion, leaving the GSFC Visitor Center at 9:30 a.m. and returning about 9:30 p.m.  Call    Alberta Moran for details and/or reservations (and don’t delay as only 40 seats will be available).


COMMENTS FROM RON BROWNING, GRAA PRESIDENT:  One of the highlights of our luncheon program throughout the year is when we host the NASA Academy students.  This year was no exception, as 20 gifted students joined us, along with five of their Goddard mentors/Principal Investigators, at the July luncheon.  The students represented 18 states and the nations of Canada and France.  About half are in graduate school pursuing doctorates in Aerospace Engineering or Physics.  Dave Rosage, Goddard Manager of the Academy, described the program envisioned by the late Dr. Jerry Soffen (who was instrumental in establishing the Academy at Goddard) and the selection process that worked through some 2,000 applicants to arrive at the list of this year’s 20 finalists.  All of the students described the research activities they are working on, where they are from, and the school they are attending.  When asked, most of the students responded that they would be interested in working at Goddard when they complete their degrees.  We hope there will be opportunities for them to join the Goddard ranks when the time comes.


John Boeckel, retired Director of Engineering, and his wife, Emily, are leaving the Washington environs (specifically College Park).  They are relocating to Fayetteville, NC.  We wish them all the best in their new digs down south.


TREASURER’S REPORT:  Bob Wigand reports that donations were received from the following members:  Ron Britner, Jim Gavura, Alex Lawrence, and Freda Mae Long.  



§    August 16, 1961:  Thor-Delta launched Explorer 12/S-3, a spin-stabilized, solar-cell-powered spacecraft instrumented to measure cosmic-ray particles, trapped particles, solar wind protons, and magnetospheric and interplanetary magnetic fields.

§    August 12, 1969:  Atlas-Centaur launched Applications Technology Satellite (ATS) V, the objective of which was to evaluate gravity-gradient stabilization and new imaging techniques for meteorological data retrieval (the same as the failed ATS IV).

§    August 3, 1981:  Delta launched Dynamics Explorer (DE) , which involved two spacecraft (A & B or 1 & 2) to study the interaction between the hot, thin, convecting plasma of Earth’s magnetosphere and the cooler, denser plasmas and gases co-rotating in the ionosphere and upper atmosphere.


ENVELOPE STUFFERS FOR JULY:  Marge Gustafson, Barbara Hamilton, Rose McChesney, Elaine Montgomery, Dave Moulton, Agnes Smith, and Eloise Tarter.


E-MAIL ADDRESS UPDATES:  Tom J. Canning (gypsies2@msn.com);  Ronald R. Gunton (randjgunton@comcast.net);  Sandra S. Phillips (sandyphill@cox.net); and Richard D. Reese (diabareese@msn.com).          


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 on your mailing label, write to our Seabrook address or send an e-mail to Strat Laios at stratlaios@comcast.net. 


THE WHOLE TRUTH, NOTHING BUT:  How many retirees does it take to change a light bulb?

Answer:  Only one, but it might take all day.





§          Robert D. (Bob) Peavler, of Bowie, MD, passed away from lymphoma on June 30th.  He joined Goddard in 1967 and worked there until 1987, when he transferred to the National Security Agency.  He returned to Goddard in 1995 and worked as an Electrical Systems Manager and Instrument Systems Manager before retiring in 1997.  After retiring, he continued working on the same projects, at the same desk, as the lead Testing Engineer for Swales Aerospace before retiring again in 2005.

§          John H. Sinclair, Jr., of Baltimore, MD, passed away on May 24th. 



§          Ron Britner wrote, “I moved to Pennsylvania to get away from [some certain Maryland politicians].”  Suffice it to say that Ye Ed opted to not name names in favor of protecting the innocent (and/or the partisan-miffed) and because he believes that, in essence, all Maryland elected officials have generally supported Goddard missions, operations, and dedicated employees.

§          Jim Gavura wrote, “Enclosed please find a donation to help cover the costs of the monthly newsletter mailings.  I enjoy reading them, as they provide an opportunity to keep up with the ongoing activities “back east,” as well as some of the “old gang.”  Keep up the good work and thanks for your dedication.”

§          Alex Lawrence wrote, “Thanks for sending the newsletter, as I truly enjoy reading about the status of GSFC retirees.  I will certainly plan to visit one the “functions” and/or join a “work” group.”

§          Harley Mann wrote, “STS-121  - what a great mission.  Congratulations to all those who helped, both past and present.  My wife, Diane, and I are still volunteers at a school for inner-city Las Vegas families (as we have for the past eight years).  Our kindergarten class totaled 24 children this spring.  The newsletter is greatly appreciated, as it’s good to read what other retirees are doing.  Also, thanks for the copies of Goddard View, as I pass them along to parents whose children have expressed an interest in the space program.  For those visiting Las Vegas, like Mort Foxe did recently, please e-mail me at Harley01@ix.netcom.com so we can get together to share some good times.”


OPPORTUNITIES TO LEARN MORE ABOUT PROSTATE CANCER:  Many medical experts say that all men will contract prostate cancer if they live long enough.  Whether true or not, current statistics do indicate that one man in every six will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime.  Excluding skin cancer, it is the second leading cause of male cancer deaths (after lung cancer).  It is also the most common cancer in American men.  We have passed on information in the past about prostate cancer, but it never stops being a medical priority that every male over age 50 should be periodically tested by his physician, especially given that the disease is normally slow growing and noticeable symptoms may not be experienced for many years after its onset.  There are a couple reasons we are showcasing prostate cancer again this month.  Firstly, September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, and Prostate Cancer Awareness Week will occur during the period September 17th through 23rd.  During that week, many medical facilities around the country will be administering free or low-cost screening tests.  If you are interested in such a screening, simply check out the Prostate Cancer Education Council’s web site at http://www.pcaw.com.  Scroll down a bit and click on the Screening Site Locator, then on the next screen submit your Zip Code for a screening site located near your home.  Then just call the contact number that pops up and ask for additional information or a screening appointment.  Secondly, retiree Ed Falkenhayn encourages former male colleagues to consider attending a patient-oriented conference focusing on detection and treatment.  The next conference in the Washington environs is scheduled for October 20th through 23rd in Reston, VA.  There are other conferences planned on different dates throughout the country.  There is a charge for this conference, but the fee is a small price to pay for fewer anxious moments.  There is a long list of medical practitioners who will be providing up-to-date presentations (followed by question and answer sessions) at the conference.  The advertised price is $125.00, but you can receive a $25.00 discount by registering prior to September 1st and another $5.00 discount when you register online.  To learn more about this conference, or to register, simply go to the Prostate Cancer Forum (maintained by Dr. Charles E. Myers, Jr. of Charlottesville, VA) at http://www.prostateforum.com and click on the “Learn to Hope” box on the right side of the screen.  One of the slogans used by the prostate cancer community is “Drop ‘Em.  It Could Save Your Life!”  Ye Ed hopes you can read between the lines and will take heed.


STS-121 WAS A GENUINE SUCCESS, WITH HELP FROM GODDARD:  Surely readers of this newsletter were proud to have witnessed the launch and landing of STS-121.  Despite losing a “spatula” in space during one of the space walks, the mission was an unqualified success.  You may not realize that Astronaut Piers Sellers got his first NASA experience at Goddard.  Born and brought up in England, he earned a degree in ecology and a PhD in biometeorology.  With his degrees, pilot experience, and one year serving as software consultant in London, Sellers and his wife left England in 1982 and came to Maryland where Goddard’s Yale Mintz had recruited him.  He has stated that “Yale knew of my work in England and was looking for people to do climate modeling and so we came in contact with one another.  My wife and I arrived in the U.S. for the first time with $60 in our pockets and three suitcases and I started work at Goddard two days later.”  Sellers began applying to the astronaut corps in 1984.  The biggest obstacle was his lack of citizenship, but he resolved that in 1991 when he became a naturalized citizen.  He was finally selected as an astronaut in 1996 and has been on the rise ever since.  STS-121 was his second Shuttle flight and he performed his assigned space walks magnificently.  You’ll also learn about tools made at Goddard and used on STS-121 by reading the related article appearing in Goddard View (Volume 2, Issue 12). 


GEWA EXCHANGE STORE:  Did you get tired of the rain we received in the Washington environs during the early days of July?  Do you want to see the sunshine continue (but obviously not the intense heat and humidity)?  If yes, then why not stop by the GEWA Exchange Store on a Monday between 8:00 and 11:00 a.m. and you are assured to have a “SUNNY MONDAY.”  You see, during that three-hour period EVERYTHING in the store is discounted by 10 percent.  It doesn’t matter if an item is already discounted, you’ll still get another 10 percent taken off when you bring it to the register.  Keep in mind, however, that amusement park tickets, Ticket Master events, and photo work is not included.


Mail Supplies – Do you need to mail a CD, an article of clothing, or any other item that you don’t necessarily need a box for when a padded envelope will fit the bill?  If so, GEWA will come to the rescue once again!  In fact, GEWA has recently received in such a varied selection of padded envelopes that you have a hard time even filling the larger envelopes.  Of course, not only does GEWA have a wide selection of envelopes, its stock includes other mailing supplies to help make any type of shipment a real easy chore.