Goddard Retirees and Alumni Association

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


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



November 14 Mark your calendar for the GRAA Luncheon at 11:30 a.m.  A speaker has yet to be announced. (See Update below).  Reservations are required, so please call Alberta Moran at 301-937-7762 no later than noon on Thursday, November 9th.
December 12
There will be no GRAA Luncheon due to the many holiday-related activities throughout December.
January 9, 2007
Mark your calendar for the GRAA Luncheon at 11:30 a.m.  Dr. Paul Newman will be speaking about the latest findings on the changing size of the hole in the ozone layer.  A gifted and popular speaker, he is assigned to the Atmospheric Chemistry and Dynamics Branch of the Laboratory for Atmospheres (Code 613).
June 24, 2007 Are you yearning to go on a cruise next year?  GRAA Travel has one planned from Baltimore to Bermuda from June 24th (Sunday) through June 29th (Friday) early next summer.  Due to the popularity of cruises departing from Baltimore, all cabins must be reserved by October 15, 2006.  Cabin prices are $970 (inside); $1290 (outside ocean view staterooms); and $1,600 for veranda suites).  All quoted rates are per person, double-occupancy, and include port taxes of $145 and regular taxes of $52.08).  Call Alberta Moran for information and reservations.


COMMENTS FROM RON BROWNING, GRAA PRESIDENT:  GRAA congratulates Dr. John C. Mather, Goddard’s own, for being selected to share the 2006 Nobel Prize in Physics with Dr. George Smoot (University of California at Berkeley and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory).  His work on confirming the “Big Bang” theory was based on measurements from the extremely successful Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) mission.  All who had a role in the in-house COBE project can take justifiable pride in John’s extraordinary achievement in capturing the distinction of being selected as a Nobel laureate.


Our featured speaker at the October luncheon was Carmel Conaty, Manager of the Goddard Visitor Center (VC).  An engineer from the Systems Engineering Services and Advanced Concepts Branch on assignment to the VC, she described the recent upgrades to the VC and the goals in educating the public about NASA’s mission and products and in providing interactive educational experiences in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.  “Science on a Sphere,” a new feature, displays various solar and meteorological phenomena on a global basis.  Hurricane and typhoon pictures for the entire 2005 season are exhibited as they build over the water and move across land.  Following lunch, several members took a tour of the VC and the Goddard clean room where, assuming NASA Administrator Griffin’s imminent approval (scheduled to be announced on October 31st or November 1st), the next Hubble servicing mission’s new instruments and equipment are being prepared for an early 2008 launch.  Carmel solicited help from GRAA members in developing new technology displays, serving as tour guides, and advising on plans for a new Science and Engineering Exploration Center.  If you are interested in any of these volunteer opportunities, contact Carmel at 301-286-7996 or via e-mail at carmel.a.conaty@nasa.gov. 


The search continues for the slow-scan TV tapes that were captured at various tracking stations during the Apollo 11 mission.  There are 240 of the 14-inch in diameter, 15-pound tapes that have not yet been located.  GRAA members have been asked to assist in the search to locate them.  Contact Karen Flynn (301-286-5085) or Dick Nafzger (301-286-3006) if you or anyone you know has knowledge of the following items:  manned flight operations procedures (formal and informal) covering the 1969 to mid-1970’s time period; technical use of the data – voice, telemetry analysis, etc.; Manned Flight or Records Management files for these types of tapes; and operations of the Building 16 degaussing facility.


TREASURER’S REPORT:  Bob Wigand reports that donations were received from the following members:  Tom Gunshinan,  Larry Hull,  Paul Karpiscak, Franz Lengenfelder, and Al Sherman.         



§    November 29, 1965:  Thor-Agena launched Explorer 31 (also known as Direct Measurement Explorer-A) and Alouette II.  Explorer 31 was instrumented to make direct measurements of selected ionospheric parameters at the spacecraft and carried seven experiments.  Aloulette II was part of a collaborative series of satellites between the United State and Canada to study the ionosphere in an effort to improve the quality of communication transmissions in the Canadian North.


§    November 5, 1967:  Atlas-Agena launched ATS III (also known as Applications Technology Satellite-3).  ATS III was one of a series of spacecraft designed to demonstrate the utility and feasibility of a variety of technological and scientific activities that could be carried out by an earth-synchronous spacecraft and carried 11 experiments.


§    November 13, 1978:  Atlas-Centaur launched HEAO B (also known as High Energy Astronomical Observatory B).  HEAO B was the first X-ray observatory to open the utilization of its facility to a larger astronomical community via a Guest Observer Program.  Its primary objective was to study the high-energy universe, pulsars, neutron stars, black holes, quasars, radio galaxies, and supernovas.

ENVELOPE STUFFERS FOR OCTOBER:  Envelope stuffers for the October issue were Jody Fillmann, Marj Gallagher, Jackie Gasch, Marge Gustafson, Barbara Hamilton, Aleta Johnson, Elaine Montgomery, Dave Moulton, Agnes Smith, Eloise Tarter, and Frank Wrigley.           


GRAA IS FACING A SEVERE BUDGET CRUNCH:  GRAA has recently been notified that, due to Goddard’s austere FY2007 budget, the Center will no longer be able to provide funding for the costs associated with the monthly mailing of the GRAA Newsletter and Goddard View.  This decision presents an obvious dilemma for our association, a solution for which is under considered by the GRAA Board of Directors (BOD).  On behalf of the GRAA BOD, Ye Ed hopes that a solution can be reached soon that will somehow allow GRAA to continue distributing the newsletter, although this is not a foregone conclusion.  This is a serious situation, especially since the Center has provided funding for distribution of the GRAA Newsletter for the past 22 years.  GRAA’s meager treasury cannot possibly sustain the monthly postal charges.  As we go to press with this issue, suffice it to say that the BOD will be meeting as soon as possible to consider all available options and will notify the membership of its decision.  If you have comments regarding this late-breaking news or potential alternatives for continuing distribution of the newsletter, please forward your comments as soon as possible to Ron Browning to GRAA’s Seabrook address at the top of the front page or via e-mail to arkabee@comcast.net.


SOIL CONSERVATION ROAD REALIGNMENT:  By the time you receive this newsletter, the rerouting of Soil Conservation Road will have been completed.  GRAA members accessing the Center will still need to sign in as a visitor at the Main Gate on Greenbelt Road.  Public access on Soil Conservation Road has been rerouted around the east side of the Center and joins up with Good Luck Road, which then intersects with Greenbelt Road.  To access the Visitor Center, retirees (and the public) must now turn north from Greenbelt Road onto ICESat Road (formerly Soil Conservation Road) and then make a left turn onto WMAP Road (the new road to the Visitor Center).


ROAD CLEANUP:  On September 30th, a team of GRAA members (Ron Browning, Elaine Montgomery, Dave Moulton, Paul Rall, Ewald Schmidt, and Bob Wigand) cleaned up the portion of Good Luck Road on Goddard’s eastern boundary.


GRAA MEMBERS DO NOT TREAD LIGHTLY:  Peter Hui and Charlie Boyle won age-group gold awards in the 1500-meter racewalk on September 21st in the Maryland Senior Olympics at Towson University.  Peter participated in age group 75-80 and broke the tape at 10 minutes and 30 seconds, while Charlie was in age group 80-85 and finished in 10 minutes and 33 seconds.  Their wins qualify them to represent Maryland next year at the National Senior Games in Louisville, KY.  Peter holds the racewalk state record for age groups 65-69 and 70-74, while Charlie holds the record for age groups 75-79 and 80-84.  Their coach walks the mile in six minutes and 2 seconds.  If interested in the sport, check out http://members.aol.com/rayzwocker/worldclass/homepage.htm and click on the photo to make their coach start racing.  [Ye Ed confesses he was fatigued after just watching their coach racewalk on his computer screen for a mere three minutes.]   


E-MAIL ADDRESS UPDATES: Barbara Cherry (cherry.barbara@gmail.com); Dave Cissell (dcissell@annapolis.net); Ruth Findlay (rfindlay@sysmatrix.net); and Franz Lengenfelder (franzerika@comcast.net).         


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



§          Richard H. Hoffman, of Sykesville, MD, passed away on September 18th of complications from a stroke.  He worked at Goddard from 1962 until his retirement in 1995.  Prior to retiring, he served as Chief Engineer of the Thermal Engineering Branch, and in 1990 received the Award of Merit, the highest honor Goddard bestows. 



§          Joan Robbins wrote, “Enjoying life on the lake.  I look forward to your newsletter!”

§          Tony Brogena wrote, “Thank you all for your efforts and best regards to Alberta Moran.”  [Ye Ed notes that Tony is 94-1/2 years young and that Alberta told me she is available.]

§          Al Sherman wrote, “I greatly enjoy reading the GRAA Newsletter.  Keep up the good work!  Enclosed is a donation.”

§          Larry Hull wrote, “I enjoy the GRAA Newsletter and enclose a small contribution to help cover costs.  Having played a very small role in the COBE mission, I was pleased to hear that John Mather, principal investigator for the mission and senior project scientist for the James Webb Space Telescope mission, shared the 2006 Nobel Prize in Physics.”

§          Thomas Gunshinan wrote, “The enclosed check is to help carry on the association’s newsletter.”

§          Franz Lengenfelder wrote, “Thanks for the monthly newsletter, as my wife and I enjoy reading it.  Special thanks go out to   Bob Wigand, Frank Wrigley and Ewald Schmidt, because I still remember you all from work when we had an MSFN and Nascom.  We live in St. Leonard (Long Beach) on the Chesapeake Bay and enjoy walking and talking to neighbors.  We have a beautiful park nearby at the Flag Ponds where we walk thru nature trails mostly in the spring and fall.”


GEWA EXCHANGE STORE ITEM OF INTEREST:  You may not be aware that GEWA now has a wide variety of space-related items available for your on-line shopping, especially for your fast-approaching holiday shopping.  Please let all your relatives, friends and neighbors that this service is available to everyone.  To access the on-line web site, just go to http:www.spaceshoponline.com and follow the directions for your NASA-related shopping needs.


This year’s Children’s Holiday Party is scheduled for Saturday, December 16th in the Building 8 Auditorium and the Toy Liquidation Sale is scheduled for Monday, December 18th.  If you want to register for the Children’s Holiday Party or desire information about the Toy Liquidation Sale, contact Keith Corsi (301-286-4035) or Susan Rambo (301-286-8776).


Shop early at the GEWA Exchange Store (Monday mornings before 11:00 a.m.) and receive a discount of 10% on all purchases.  


THE WHOLE TRUTH, NOTHING BUT:  Why do retirees count pennies?  Answer:  They’re the only people who have the time.




At the meeting Tuesday, Nov. 14, GRAA Board Member Charlie Boyle will speak on the digital technology now revolutionizing publishing and marketing (e.g., amazon.com). You can now produce your own professional-appearing books. People are now doing so (for personal use, sale or gifts) on topics that cover fiction, textbooks, memoirs, how-to guides, family histories, biographies, diaries, cookbooks, favorite stories, humor, etc.. Charlie will describe his visits to digital factories in the UK and TN during manufacture of his latest book, “Shuttle Rising: A Rendezvous with a Rumor.”