Goddard Retirees and Alumni Association

                               P.O. Box 163, Seabrook, MD  20703


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



Oct 12                     GRAA Regular Luncheon at 11:30 a.m.  Reservations are required, so please call 301-937-7762 in advance.

Oct 26                     NIMBUS 40th Reunion at the Bea and Barney Rec Center from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m.  Ralph Shapiro is organizing an afternoon colloquium with guest speakers at the Visitor Center to commemorate 40 years of NIMBUS.  See a related article below for more information.

Nov 4                      GRAA and Orbital Club Dinner Theatre at the Bea and Barney Rec Center.  Attendees will be treated to a musical entitled City of Angels.  Doors open at 6:00 p.m.; Buffet Dinner from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.; Curtain at 8:00 p.m.  Tickets are $27.00 for everything (dinner, beverages, tax, tips, and show).  Tables for eight are available.  We really need members to support this GRAA-sponsored event, so please make your reservations now by calling 301-937-7762.

Nov 9                      GRAA Regular Luncheon at 11:30 a.m.  Reservations are required, so please call 301-937-7762 in advance.

Dec 9                       Shopping, theatre (Christmas show at the American Music Theatre), and dinner.  Bus to Lancaster, PA, with shopping at the Rockvale Square Outlets (over 120 discount stores).  All taxes and tips are included at the low cost of $80 per person.  Please call 301-937-7762 for reservations.

Dec 14                     As is our custom, there is no GRAA Regular Luncheon due to the many holiday-related activities scheduled throughout December.  HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!

Jan 11, 2005            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.

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 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:  Dr. John Mather, Project Scientist, gave a most interesting and insightful presentation at the September luncheon on the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) – the next generation space telescope.  THE JWST is being developed by a partnership made up of NASA, the European Space Agency, and the Canadian Space Agency, with each providing their own unique expertise.  The goal of the JWST is to “view” the very first events that occurred after the Big Bang, the first stars and how they were formed, and the origin and evolution of the first galaxies.  Detailed design of the spacecraft and instruments is underway.  Their greatest engineering challenge is the beryllium multifaceted 25-square-meter mirror.  When the JWST is launched on an Ariane V in 2011, it will be positioned at a Lagrangian point millions of miles from earth.  It will take several months to reach final orbit and fully deploy.  Dr. Mather showed an animated version of deployment and described the three scientific instruments:  Infrared Camera, Spectrograph, and Mid-Infrared Camera/Spectrometer.  JWST is not designed for servicing, but is expected to last ten years, with a five-year life for the solid hydrogen cryogenic.  The JWST is a scientific follow-on and not a replacement for the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), but the Science Institute at Johns Hopkins University will oversee the JWST like they do the HST.  


NIMBUS 40TH REUNION – COLLOQUIUM AND DINNER ON OCTOBER 26:  There will be a colloquium and dinner on October 26 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the August 28, 1964, launch of the Nimbus-1 observatory, built under the NASA/GSFC 30-year Nimbus Program that ended in 1994.  Current and retired government and contractor personnel are invited to participate in both events.  The colloquium will be held from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the Visitor Center off Soil Conservation Road.  The prime objective of the colloquium is to present Nimbus Program contributions to the public welfare, such as the revolutionizing of weather forecasting techniques, public awareness of the danger resulting from ozone depletion in the upper atmosphere, and satellite system technology support to worldwide search and rescue operations.  The list of speakers for this event has not yet been finalized.  If you are interested in attending the colloquium, please contact Cynthia O’Carroll at 301-614-5563 or by e-mail at Cynthia.M.Ocarroll@nasa.gov.  The dinner will be held at the Bea and Barney Rec Center off Soil Conservation Road from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m.  The menu will include appetizers, Prime Rib, Spiced Shrimp, and beer/wine/soft drinks.  The cost of the dinner is $27.00.  If you plan on attending the dinner or know someone who may be interested, please contact Michael L. Forman at 301-286-9287 or e-mail him at Michael.L.Forman@nasa.gov.  Dinner reservations need to be made and paid for by October 21.  For information about this event and other Nimbus facts, log on to the web site at www.nimbus-sat.org.

TREASURER’S REPORT: Bob Wigand reports that a donation was received from Bernard Peavey.



October 27, 1962:  Thor-Delta launched Explorer 15/SERB to study the effects of a high-altitude nuclear blast.

October 18, 1967:  Delta launched OSO IV, which provided the first extreme UV pictures of the sun. 

October 24, 1978: Delta launched Nimbus VII, an environmental/weather research satellite, which monitored the ozone layer for 15 years.



Roland and Anne Van Allen, Marge Gustafson, Frank Wrigley, Barbara Hamilton, Bob Wigand, Agnes Smith, Elaine Montgomery, and Dave Moulton. 


ROAD CLEANUP:  Our quarterly trash pickup was successfully completed following the September meeting.  Volunteers Elaine Montgomery, Hank Maurer, Ron Browning, and Bob Wigand collected eight trash bags from Good Luck Road on the eastern boundary of the Center.  More volunteers for next quarter’s cleanup would be greatly appreciated, so consider adding this worthwhile project to your exercise regimen. 



Frank Carr wrote, “Living here in SW Florida after two and the threat of a third hurricane suggests a modified name: Paradise Interrupted.  Thanks much for your expression of concern in the September issue.  Hurricane Charley was the worst for us.  It went from a non-event to a fright in less than an hour as it accelerated from a Cat 2 to Cat 4 and changed direction for our back door here in the Ft. Myers area.  One minute I was planning on a nap, and within an hour I was fleeing.  Our new house was undamaged, but we had considerable dollar damage to the pool area, all covered by insurance.  Fortunately, the forecasted 15-18-foot storm surge never materialized, and after three hours I was able to return to the house.  The resulting power loss of 48 hours is enough to demonstrate how much we depend on electricity.  Now our new generator stands at the ready.  The Gulf islands of Sanibel, Captiva, Upper Captiva, and Useppa were all hit unmercifully, as was Punta Gorda, 20 miles north of here.  We tolerated Frances much better, given that we were in Utah at the time.  Ivan, the biggest threat of all, stayed well out in the Gulf, but hit Alabama and the Florida Panhandle terribly.  Thanks for the newsletter, as I always enjoy the monthly news of GRAA and Goddard.”



John Schmidt’s new address is jschmidt@xorbit.com

William Schoene’s new address is wschoene@lcia.com

Hugh Turnbull’s new address is w3abc@arrl.org

Ed Danko’s new address is ED_JEANNEDANKO@MAN.COM

Bruce Clark’s new address is ptkral@erols.com


RECENT RETIREES:  Joyce Corley, Carol Jo Crannell, Eugene Davidoff, Herbert Durbeck, Sharon Foster, James Heirtzler, Larry Hull, Richard Karas, Jonathan Ormes, Larry Orwig, Arlene Peterson, Merritt Pharo, Catherine Simkins, Theodore Southerland, William Webb, and Donald Wood. 


GEWA:  The Fall Crafts Fair is scheduled for November 9 in the Building 8 Auditorium.  For more information, check out GEWA’s web site (gewa.gsfc.nasa.gov) and/or contact Kenneth Dearth at 301-286-3003.


Santa Claus is looking for some part-time elves on December 9 (or possibly December 10) to help wrap gifts as well as on December 11 to help with the annual Children’s Christmas Party.  If interested in volunteering, contact Alberta Moran at 301-937-7762.


Want to make your Monday mornings a little brighter?  Stop by the GEWA Store anytime between 8:00 and 11:00 a.m. for “Sunny Monday.”  Everything in the store is 10% off, including already reduced items.  It’s never too early to start your holiday shopping, so shop Monday mornings for discounted prices.


Now that football is once again on many of our minds, the GEWA Store has many items (including caps, banners, ornaments, and soft snow globes) adorned with the logos of the Redskins, Ravens, Cowboys (ugh!), and the University of Maryland.  Stop by the store and pick up an item to demonstrate to your friends you are a devoted fan of your favorite team.