Goddard Retirees and Alumni Association

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


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



July 11

Mark your calendar for the GRAA Luncheon at 11:30 a.m.  Join us to welcome our guests, the 2006 Class of NASA Academy interns and their mentors.  We expect the interns will summarize their academic backgrounds and provide information pertaining to their summer projects.  Their mentors may also speak about the goals their interns are expected to achieve while at the Center.  Reservations are required, so please call Alberta Moran at 301-937-7762 no later than noon on Friday, July 7th.

August 8

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

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, and dessert.  We will publish more details in the August issue, but suffice it to say at this juncture that depending on the price of crabs, the cost is expected to be about $25 for all you can eat and drink.  Plan on bringing your spouse and make it a special summertime treat.

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 be a 12-hour excursion, leaving GSFC Visitor Center at 9:30 a.m. and returning at 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:  Ms. Paula Becker, biologist for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (MD DNR), provided June luncheon attendees an informative synopsis of the Maryland, Delaware, and New Jersey Gap Analysis Project (MDN-GAP) which was initiated in 1991 as a cooperative effort between the MD DNR, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.  The goal of the MDN-GAP was, basically, to keep common species common by identifying those species and plant communities that are not adequately represented in existing conservation lands.  Common species are those not currently threatened with extinction.  By identifying their habitats, gap analysis gives land managers, land stewards, and natural resource groups information they need to make better-informed decisions when identifying priority areas for conservation.  The Mid-Atlantic area, composed of a complex matrix of different elements, made landscape characterization a challenging task.  The researchers coordinated with NASA personnel to use Landsat 5 satellite imagery from 1991-1993, aerial videography from 1996-1997 taken from NASA aircraft, and other available databases to assign distinct classes (i.e., wetland and beach, upland forest, urban/disturbed/agricultural, and water) to the more than 12 million acres in the study area.  While the MDN-GAP process is too complex to synopsize here, the scientific results provide a baseline upon which more detailed studies and efforts needed for the long-term conservation of biodiversity in the Mid-Atlantic area may be placed.  For more information on the National Gap Analysis Project and current research efforts, check out the following web site:  http://gapanalysis.nbii.gov.  


ELECTION RESULTS:  On June 13th, the following members were elected to the GRAA Board of Directors:  Dick Baker,             Charlie Boyle, Ron Browning, Barbara Hamilton, Strat Laios, Dave Moulton, and Bob Wigand.  We extend appreciation to all members who voted either by mail or in person at the June luncheon meeting.  Officers from the Board of Directors are President Ron Browning, Vice President Dick Baker, Secretary Barbara Hamilton, and Treasurer Bob Wigand.                      


TREASURER’S REPORT:  Bob Wigand reports that donations were received from the following members:  Stan Corwin, Bob Davis, Steve Dolan, Dave Douds, and Chuck Woodyard.


ROAD CLEANUP:  Following the June luncheon, six stalwart members (Elaine Bobbitt, Toni Durantine, Hank Maurer, Dave Moulton, Ralph Welsh, and Bob Wigand) cleaned up the portion of Good Luck Road adjacent to Goddard.  The rerouting of Soil Conservation Road to Good Luck Road is definitely changing the landscape and appears to be progressing on schedule.



§    July 2, 1965:  Delta launched the Television and Infrared Observation Satellite (TIROS) X, also known as TIROS 10.  TIROS X was a sun-synchronous meteorological spacecraft designed to develop improved capabilities for obtaining and using TV cloudcover pictures from satellites and operated as an interim operational satellite.  TIROS X was the first Weather Bureau-funded TIROS.

§    July 28, 1967:  Thor-Agena launched the Orbiting Geophysical Observatory (OGO) IV, also known as OGO 4.  OGO IV was a large observatory instrumented with experiments designed to study the interrelationships between the aurora and airglow emissions, energetic particle activity, geomagnetic field variation, ionospheric ionization and recombination, and atmospheric heating which take place during a period of increased solar activity.

§    July 2, 1996:  Pegasus XL launched the Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer Earth Probe (TOMS-EP), the goal of which was to continue the high-resolution global mapping of total ozone on a daily basis as well as to detect global ozone trends to verify depletion predicted by atmospheric chemistry models.



§          Robert O. Aller, of Reboboth Beach, DE, passed away from pulmonary fibrosis on May 17th.  A NASA Headquarters retiree,          Mr. Aller held numerous high-profile positions from 1964 to 1989, including Director of the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite Systems Division, Associate Administrator for the Office of Space Tracking and Data Systems, and Associate Administrator of Space Operations.

§          William S. “Bill” Bethea, of Fort Washington, MD, passed away after a long battle with cancer on May 18th.  He was an Administrative Support Assistant in the Management Services Branch (Code 231) of the Logistics Management Division, retiring in 2003.

§          Donald J. Carlson, of Silver Spring, MD, passed away on June 12th after a brave battle with lung cancer.  He was a Mechanical Engineer who started his career at the Naval Research Laboratory, moving to Goddard in 1960.  Among his many accomplishments throughout his career, he had oversight responsibility for the installation of several satellite tracking stations and retired in 1995.

§          Raymond DiSilvestre, Sr., of Annapolis, MD, passed away following a lengthy illness on October 29th, 2005.

§          Wilber B. “Bill” Huston, of Fountain Hills, AZ, passed away on May 25th.  When he graduated from high school at the age of 16,     Thomas Edison was sponsoring a contest to find the brightest boy in America.  Mr. Huston represented the state of Washington and won the contest after an oral interview for three contestants who had obtained identical scores on a written test.  Members of the formidable interview panel included Edison, Henry Ford, George Eastman, Harvey Firestone, Charles Lindbergh, the headmaster of Phillips Exeter Academy, and the President of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).  Mr. Huston’s prize was that Edison paid his way through MIT, where he graduated with a degree in Physics in 1933.  Huston was a Goddard pioneer, transferring from Langley Research Center along with the first Center Director, Dr. Harry Goett.  He was first assigned as the Nimbus Deputy Project Manager for Science and then was promoted to Nimbus Project Manager for seven successful missions.

§          Yoram J. Kaufman, of Silver Spring, MD, passed away on May 31st at the Prince George’s Hospital Center as a result of injuries sustained in a May 26th bicycle accident near the EOS Gate on Soil Conservation Road.  Still employed at the time of his passing,               Dr. Kaufman was a Senior Atmospheric Scientist in the Earth-Sun Exploration Division, with primary research emphasis on meteorology and climate change.  From 1997 to 2001, he served as Project Scientist for Terra, the flagship satellite of NASA’s Earth Observing System.

§          Carol D. Lundregan, of Bowie, MD, passed away on April 8th at the Anne Arundel Convalescent Center.  She retired from the former Experimental Engineering Center (Code 900). 

§          Robert J. McCaffery, of Chester, MD, passed away on May 26th from natural causes.  He transferred to Goddard in 1960 from the Department of the Navy in Washington, DC.  He served as Chief of Engineering at Goddard and retired in 1976.

§          Kenneth McDonald, of Rural Retreat, VA, passed away on May 22nd, after a courageous battle with lung cancer.  He was a Mission Planner and worked with French aerospace scientists, specialists and technicians on Ariane and SPOT and also represented Goddard at the Johnson Space Center, interfacing with requirements personnel.

§          Harlan L. Whitten, of Stevensville, MD, passed away on May 18th.  He started working at Goddard in 1973 as an Industrial Equipment Engineer and retired in 1989. 


ENVELOPE STUFFERS FOR JUNE:  Jody Fillmann, Marj Gallagher, Jackie Gasch, Marge Gustafson, Barbara Hamilton,              Aleta Johnson, Rose McChesney, Elaine Montgomery, Dave Moulton, Ewald Schmidt, Agnes Smith, Eloise Tarter, Bob Wigand, and Frank Wrigley.  Although Frank Wrigley only showed up long enough to say hello, the group agreed to include his name due to his long-standing commitment to this monthly task.


E-MAIL ADDRESS UPDATES:  Stanley (and Judy) Corwin (stanjudy3102@aol.com);  Daniel L. Endres (danendres@gmail.com);  Vincent A. Guidice (maxell3@verizon.net);  George E. MacVeigh (gemacvb@edurostream.com);  Joseph B. Seek (JILSeek@verizon.net);  Barry Sherman (Sherman_b@comcast.net);  Mary Watts (marywatts954@aol.com).       


THE WHOLE TRUTH, NOTHING BUT:  Why don’t retirees mind being called seniors? 

Answer:  The term comes with a 10 percent discount.


THANKS TO DONORS OF SATELLITE MODELS:  Dr. William “Bill” Nordberg’s widow, Trixi, thanks GRAA members          Robert Moss, Ralph Shapiro, and Nicholas Short for their donations of satellite models in response to her call for such items to be sent to placed in the new wing of a museum in Fehring, Austria, that will honor Dr. Nordberg’s many Goddard accomplishments.   



§          Stan Corwin wrote, “Judy and I appreciate all the work you do to keep us informed about Goddard via the newsletter.  Thanks to all you dedicated mailing envelope stuffers.  I’m especially glad to see so many of my old co-workers and friends in that group.”

§          Robert Davis wrote, “Enclosed is a small check for the fine continuing effort by GRAA about GSFC activities.  After 17 years of living in Brock Hall Estates in Upper Marlboro, MD, Ruth and I have moved to a new apartment in the Riderwood community in Silver Spring, MD.  With less work on a house and a private tennis court, I hope to be more active at GSFC and especially with the Goddard Tennis Club.  Keep up the good work.” 

§          Ken Dolan wrote, “I enjoy the monthly newsletter.  The letters and archival news brings back so many memories.  Every June I get sentimental remembering participating in my first NASA launch, OGO-B.  I was sorry to read about the passing of Charlie Katz.  He was a great mentor when I was a young engineer on the OAO program.

§          Leonard Rabb wrote, “I just received the June 2006 newsletter and saw that Charles Katz had passed away.  That brief statement did not do justice to him!  I would like the current Goddard employees and retirees to know that Mr. Katz was part of the original group that started GSFC and that he contributed in too many ways to list.  He set the standards of dedication and performance that makes GSFC what it is today.”  [Note: Ye Ed apologizes for what was perceived as a slight to the accomplished career of Mr. Katz.  Unfortunately, no additional information was available when the June issue went to press].    


RECENT RETIREES:  Donald G. Abrams, William R. Braun, Lynn B. Clark, Elly D. Cleaver, Michael D. Femiano,                    Frederick W. McCaleb, Frederick I. Meader, George T. Roach, Epaminondas G. Stassinopoulos, and Marguerite A. Tallant.