Goddard Retirees and Alumni Association
                               P.O. Box 163, Seabrook, MD 20703

DECEMBER 2004                          http://graa.gsfc.nasa.gov                      20th Year of Publication

Dec 9                    Shopping, theatre (Christmas show at the American Music Theatre) and dinner. Bus to Lancaster, PA, with shopping at                               Rockvale (over 150 discount stores). ONLY ONE OR TWO SEATS LEFT!!! All taxes and tips are included at the low cost of                               $80 per person. Call Alberta Moran (301-937-7762) to reserve a seat.

Dec 10                 Toy Wrapping Party for the Children's Holiday Party. Call Alberta Moran (301-937-7762) or Kenneth Dearth (301-286-3003) to                              volunteer your time as a part-time elf at the wrapping party or the party itself.

Dec 11                 Children's holiday Party. If interested in sponsoring your child or grandchild (up to 8 years old), visit the GEWA Store no later                              than December 7 to fill out a registration form. The cost is $11.00 per child. Refreshment and eentertainment (photos, face                              painting, clowns and bunny rabbit, special magic show and a visit by Santa Claus and his wife) will be available for all ages,                              including you! Parents/sponsors whose last names begin with A-L are scheduled to attend from 11:00 a.m. to 12:45 p.m., while                              those whose last names begin with M-Z are scheduled to attend from 1:45 to 4:30 p.m.  Remember that the special magic show                              is scheduled at 12:45 p.m.

Dec 13                Toy Liquidation Sale. Please call Alberta Moran (301-937-7762) or Kenneth Dearth (301-286-3003) for details.

Dec 14                 There will be no GRAA Regular Luncheon due to the many holiday-related activities throughout December.

Jan 11                  GRAA Regular Luncheon at 11:30 a.m. This event will include the Echo Project Reunion. The Echo Project was launched 40                              years ago last January. Plan to attend, visit with old friends, and remember this very visible satellite. Vintage video taken                              from the launch vehicle will be shown. Ron Muller and John Thole are orchestrating this special reunion activity.                              Reservations are required, so please call 301-937-7762 in advance.

Feb 6, 2005         Barney Hoyt will be hosting a Superbowl Party at the Bea and Barney Recreation Center. Detailed information will be included                              in the January newsletter.

Apr 21, 2005      Eastern Caribbean 10-day cruise on Holland America from Norfolk, VA, to the Bahamas, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands,                             Antigua, St. Maarten and Puerto Rico. Cruise fares vary from $1,275 inside up to $1,750 outside with veranda. The fares                             include fixed fees of $238 covering port taxes and other miscellaneous charges. This same cruise is available on February                             17, 2005 by joining a group from Ocean City. For reservations and/or additional information, please call GRAA Travel at                             301-937-7762. 

COMMENTS FROM RON BROWNING, GRAA PRESIDENT: Jim Watzin, ProgramManager for the Robotic Lunar Exploration (RLE), gave members a stirring overview of the broad scope of his program. The primary objective of the RLE Program is to prepare for, enable and conduct safe, sustained robotic and human exploration of the Moon, and eventually other space bodies such as Mars and distant destinations in the Solar System. Robotic missions in the form of probes and satellites, with modified and new technologies and strategies, will be initiated first. Then, when reliability and safety is assured, manned missions will be launched.

New strategies include such approaches as methods to store fuels in space or on the surface of space bodies such as the Moon, and and refuel vehicles and satellites as needed to maintain trajectories and orbits. Thus space-based launch operations, propulsion systems for "tankers", rockets and satellites must be conceived, developed, tested and implemented to complete successful missions envisioned. RLE prompts new challenges in satellite systems in addition to propulsion for the uneven gravitational fields of the Moon, such as navigation and control. In addition, new methods for the management and technical support infrastructure are required.

The RLE Program's first satellite mission to the Moon is the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (RLO), which is under conceptual design and development for a planned 2008 launch! When funded to its expected $400M level, it will help pave the way for further human exploration of the Moon and other heavenly bodies!

As Jim described his program with excitement and ease, his excellent background for the challenging RLE task was obvious. Jim has studied control systems and has directed the development of such systems at Goddard. His experience includes such satellites as SMEX, Triana, HST, NPOES and IceSat. He displays the required skills to manage the RLE Program's vision, basic scientific and engineering requirements, innovative technology, and strong management of personnel and resources, including funding, technical facilities and management systems.

Marge Gustafson, Barbara Hamilton, Rose McChesney, Elaine Montgomery, Dave Moulton, William Shields, Eloise Tarter, Roland VanAllen, Bob Wigand and Frank Wrigley.

RETIREMENT OPEN HOUSE: JoAnn Clark of the Institutional Support Office (Code 201) is retiring at the end of the year. If you would like to bid a fond farewell to JoAnn, plan to attend her open house celebration on December 15 in Building 8, Room 140 from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. for only $5.00 per person.Please call Barbara Sally at 301-286-8436 to arrange payment and to have your name placed on the guest list provided to the Security Division.

December 7, 1966: Atlas-Agena launched ATS-1, the first Application Technology Satellite.
December 7, 1968: Atlas-Centaur launched OAO-11, Astronomy Observatory, a prototype refurbished and tested at Goddard after being on display at the 1964 World's Fair in New York City.
December 12, 1970: Scout launched Explorer 42/UHURU, the first US X-ray satellite launched from an Indian Ocean platform off the coast of Kenya.

Bob Wigand reports that donations were received from Jim Mullins, Marge Townsend, Dick Baker, Ellen Boyce, and Dick Dickson.

ROAD CLEANUP: Hank Maurer, Bill Shields, Elaine Montgomery, Ron Browning and Bob Wigand collected seven bags of trash, plus a broken lawn mower and other detritus, from the roadside on the east side of the Center following the November meeting.

George Marechek
wrote, "I really enjoy receiving the monthly mailing courtesy of the wonderful volunteers who send it out. Speaking of letters, why are there so few from former Code 500 types? Come on people, let's hear from you!" George also wrote that Mary, his wife of 48+ years, was called to heaven in June 2002 and that after many months of being lonely he met Kathleen, who walked down the aisle with him this past August.
Jim Mullins wrote, "Many thanks to all of you for the newsletters."

Robert B. Jackson
, of Hancock, NH, passed away on October 27 from cardiac arrest. He headed NASA's antenna technology section, which was responsible for the radio freqency systems used aboard spacecraft.
Edwin Korklin, of Laguna Woods, California, passed away on September 28.
Jay Moore passed away on October 28 from cardiac arrest after presenting a briefing at NOAA's GOES-R Acquisition Board Meeting. Prior to transferring to NOAA several years ago, Jay worked in Procurement.
James E. Phenix, of Westminster, MD, passed away on October 17 after a heart attack.He specialized in structure and design engineering of scientific instruments for manned and unmanned spacecraft.
Wayne Traylor, of District Heights,MD and Millville, DE, passed away on October 29.
John M. Weaver, of Silver Spring, MD, passed away on August 12 after complications from a stroke. From 1960-1968 he was the librarian at Goddard and later developed a "space age" library and information center in Silver Spring.

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

GEWA EXCHANGE STORE: Remember, you can brighten your Mondays by shopping at the GEWA Store between 8:00 and 11:00 a.m. You will be treated to a 10% discount on all items purchased (including items previously reduced).

Looking for holiday gifts? Check out the new red, gray and black and blue, gray and black backpacks with an embroidered NASA logo on the front. Other backpacks are also available without the NASA logo. If you're a clock-watcher the store has a nice selection of Kenneth Cole and Beverly Hills Polo Club watches. And if they're too classy for you, pick up a Seiko Mickey Mouse watch. All brands are 40% off the manufacturer's suggested price.

If you're into the latest poker craze, stop in and see the 500-chip poker set that comes in a silver-ribbed case. The set includes chips, a deck of cards, and even dice for craps. The set (at $99.00) would make a great gift for any poker lover.

If you want to liven up your home or office in the New Year, check out the photographic wall calendars, which have a 9" x 15" photo on the top and a 12" calendar on the bottom with enough room to mark the days of important GRAA events.

And don't forget about the Visitor Center Gift Shop. Cold weather is on its way and they have recently received shipment of hooded sweatshirts from size medium to 3X. Supplies are limited, so hurry on in so you don't get left out in the cold!

There is a bounty of other inexpensive gifts available, so don't be timid about supporting GEWA Exchange operations.