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

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

Feb 8                 GRAA Regular Luncheon at 11:30 a.m.  Reservations are required, so please call Alberta Moran at                           301-937-7762 in advance.
Feb 15               SMM 25th Anniversary at the Barney and Bea Recreation Center. See item below for details.
Mar 8                 Mark your calendar for the GRAA Luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Details will appear in the March issue.
Apr 12               Mark your calendar for the GRAA Luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Details will appear in the April issue.
Apr 21               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 to cover port taxes and other miscellaneous                           charges. For reservations and/or additional information, please call GRAA Travel at 301-937-7762. 

COMMENTS FROM RON BROWNING, GRAA PRESIDENT: The GRAA Luncheon/Echo Reunion in January was an enjoyable reliving of NASA's early days. John Thole and Ron Muller gave firsthand descriptions of problems and solutions for Echo I and II, which were launched in August 1960 and January 1964, respectively.John spoke about Goddard's role in Echo II design after multiple failures to deploy and inflate on orbit the 135-foot diameter, aluminum-coated mylar balloon. Echo I was a 100-foot sphere visible from the ground in a 700 nautical mile orbit. It served two valuable purposes: one was the first successful demonstration of passive telecommunications using an artificial earth satellite to reflect signals transmitted to/from the US coasts while the second was providing to the world a highly visible example of US presence in space.
Ron Muller covered the history of Echo I and II from the late 1950's through development, launch, deployment and operations. He showed archival film of laboratory tests at NASA Laangley; Echo II launch and balloon release and expansion into orbital configuration; and the follow-up coast-to-coast communications demonstrations. Since active commnications satellites were already operating successfully by then, no additional Echoes were launched. John and Ron reinforced each other's memories from 44+ years ago and shared many interesting and amusing anecdotes regarding their personal experiences working on the Echo Project.

I am sure many of you have interesting stories of your own from past Goddard projects and organizations.Do like Ron and John and schedule a reunion for a future GRAA Luncheon. It is a great opportunity to relive enjoyable experiences and renew old friendships. Please contact me via e-mail at arkabee@comcast.net to learn what is needed to schedule a reunion.

SOLAR MAXIMUM MISSION (SMM) 25th LAUNCH ANNIVERSARY:  Plan to asttend the 25th Anniversary of the SMM launch from 4:00 to 9:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 15th, at the Barney and Bea Recreation Center. Spouses and guests are welcome. There will be appetizers, beer, wine and dinner for $20.00 per person. A short program beginning at 7:00 p.m. will feature Joe Rothenberg as MC, Frank Cepollina discussing the impacts of the SMM Servicing Mission on space operations, and Joe Gurman highlighting the SMM's science applications. For reservations, contact Jack Leibee (301-286-3394/Jack.E.Leibee@nasa.gov), Jimmy Barcus (301-286-1458/James.W.Barcus@nasa.gov), or Dave Lychenheim (301-901-6102/dlychenheim@hst.nasa.gov) no later than January 7.

Feb 2, 1959:     Vanguard SLV-4 launched Vanguard II, a 20-inch sphere that provided the first photo of Earth from a                          satellite.
Feb 14, 1980:   Delta launched SMM, the first use of a serviceable Multi-mission Modular Spacecraft (MMS).
Feb 11, 1997:   Shuttle Discovery launched to conduct the second Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission.

RETIREMENT FAREWELL:    Jody Fillman, voice of reason in the GSFC security Office for well over two decades, recently retired. If you want to bid her a fond farewell, plan to attend her retirement dinner at the Barney and Bea Recreation Center on Monday February 28, from 4:30 to 10:00 p.m. (Hors d'oeuvres from 4:30 to 6:00; Dinner - Prime Rib/Baked Chicken/Spinach Lasagna, escalloped potatoes, roasted vegetables, rolls, drinks and dessert from 6:00 to 7:30; Short presentations from 7:30 to 8:30; and Music by Island Entertainment until 10:00). Tickets are $22.00 and may be obtained by contacting Pam Starling (301-286-6865), or Lois Otterson (301-286-6873), or Kathy Healy (301-286-3264).

ENVELOPE STUFFERS FOR JANUARY:    George Abid, Marge Gustafson, Barbara Hamilton, Rose McChesney, Elaine Montgomery, Dave Moulton, Ewald Schmidt, Bill Dhields, Agnes Smith, Bob Wigand and Frank Wrigley.

Hay K. Lee  wrote, "Thank you, GRAA, for your informative publication. Wishing all much joy and good health."
Robert T. Groves  wrote, "I stillenjoy reading both about NASA activities as well as retiree information. Thanks for the good work. I am enjoying retirement (ten years), grandchildren (nine), and golf (over 220 rounds in 2004)."
Donald R. Matthews  wrote, "Thank you for all your efforts toward keeping all of us informed. You are appreciated."
Ray Hartenstein  wrote, "Thanks for keeping that GSFC 'spirit' alive! Both GRAA and GSFC are totally unique in NASA. Keep up the good work!"
Susan Swafford  wrote,"Thanks to those who prepare the newsletter for mailing each month."

TREASURER'S REPORT:   Bob Wigand reports that donations were received from Ron Browning, M. Gary Dennis, Ray Hartenstein, H.K. Lee, John Martin, Joseph Pohl, Bob Segal, John Thole and Charles White. GRAA's account balances as of December 31 totaled $13,471.86. A report detailing all transactions for the year was distributed to the Board of Directors. During 2004, a total of 57 membrs donated a total of $1893.00. Over the past two years we have experienced the lowest donation levels since 1996.

IN ONE RETIREE'S WORDS:  You might find interesting (and perhaps inspirational) this extract from an interview between an Annapolis, MD, neighborhood newsletter reporter and Charlie Boyle, GRAA Board Member, notorious author and obvious Forrest Gump wannabee. Your editor's only comment is Run, Charlie, Run.
               Reporter: In 2004, you set a Maryland Senior Olympics Record in the 10K run, after which you broke the record                for the US Masters' 3K race walk. What is yoursecret for winning? 
               Charlie: I compete only against old men.
               Reporter: Your wife says that if you don't stop racing, you will drop dead on the track.
               Charlie: She can't fathom strategic planning.
               Reporter: How long was your longest race?
               Charlie: 81.
               Reporter: Kilometers?
               Charlie: No, birthdays.

Larry Brace - lpbrace@comcast.net;        Bob Groves - r.groves@verizon.net;            Larry Hyatt  - lhyatt@qmpexpress.net
John Lawrence - jackjean@smart.net;      Tom Moore - tcmoore254@goeaston.net;   Charles Rice - charlesrice@cox.net
Jeannie Riffe - ejeanriffe@comcast.net;     William Smith  - bileta@att.net;                    Susan Swafford  - waltandsue@charter.net;   and 
Virginia Thompson - ginnythompson@comcast.net

Catherine Butler of Hyattsville, MD recently passed away.
Joseph Kueberth of Severna Park, MD passed away on December 23 while visiting family in Bluffton, IN. He played a major role in the installation and engineering of nearly every antenna in the ground network.
Mary Ann Watterson, wife of retiree Jack M. Watterson of Annapolis, MD, passed away on December 30. Years ago she worked for GSFC in the personnel department.

RECENT RETIREES:  Patricia Atkins, Bessie Berry, Robert Beyma, James Caldwell, JoAnn Clark, Prabhakara Cuddapah, Robert Federline, Jody Fillman, James Gavura, Eugene Grunby, Randy Harbaugh, Robert Herrick, Anthony Ippolito, Lou Jean Jackson, Sharon Johnson, Harrison Jones, Stuart Jordan, David Marshall, David Mengers, Stewart Meyers, Tommy Neaves, Howard Ottenstein, Ruth Rogofsky, James Shiue, Terry Spurley, Locke Stuart, Jr., Margaret Stubbs, Anne Thompson, Clarence Wade, Jr., Ralph Welsh, Jr., and Barbara Yates.

GRAA NEWSLETTER MAILINGS:  If you no longer wish to receive GRAA mailings, please ssend a noe to Dave Moulton at our Seabrook address or via e-mail to davidlmoulton@comcast.net. When you write, let us know if you still want to receive the periodic Membership Directory, which is published on as close to an annual basis as possible. If you want to change or correct your mailing address, please send a note to our Seabrook address or an e-mail to Strat Laios at stratlaios@comcast.net.

In addition to Punxatawney Phil's prognostication, February brings Valentine's Day. Check out GEWA's large selection of Hallmark and show your loved one (be it a spouse, parent, child, or just a close friend) how much you care. - Don't be left out in the cold this winter! GEWA has a selection of heaters ranging from 300 to 1500 watts that come in four different styles (one is ceramic and even shaped like an igloo ....brrr). - Perhaps GEWA can't lend you a hand, but they do have extra "Leggs" available. The pantyhose line is being closed out and the remaining stock is 35 percent off marked prices.