Goddard Retirees and Alumni Association

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


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



October 10 Mark your calendar for the GRAA luncheon at 11:30 a.m.  The speaker will be Ms. Carmel Conaty, Goddard Visitor Center Manager (see Ron Browning’s message below for additional details).  Reservations are required, so please call Alberta Moran at 301-937-7762 no later than noon on Friday, October 6th.
November 14 Mark your calendar for the GRAA luncheon at 11:30 a.m.
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 essentially be a 12-hour excursion, leaving the GSFC Visitor Center at 9:30 a.m. and returning about 9:30 p.m.  Call    Alberta Moran for details and/or reservations (and don’t delay as only 40 seats will be available).
June 24, 2007 Are you hankering to go on a cruise?  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:  Apparently everyone who attended the September 12th Crab Feast had a good time.  There were plenty of heavy crabs, steamed shrimp, corn-on-the-cob, salads, and some libation to satisfy the palates and quench the thirsts of the 50+ attendees.  Out-of-towners included Bill Meyer and Dick and Barbara Wirth from Florida, as well as Wilma and Tom Chigas from Pennsylvania.  We hope to see more of a crowd at next year’s feast. 


It has been brought to my attention that many of you have fond memories of projects/missions you participated in and would like to see recognized in our section entitled From the Goddard Archives – It Happened in (you name the month).  Let me know about these projects/missions, your role, and what characteristics (e.g., scientific discoveries, engineering complexities, the first of something) that you think should be noted for fellow retirees.  I plan to include such information for the particular month the project/mission was launched in future newsletters.  Please forward the information to me via e-mail at arkabee@comcast.net or by snail mail at the address listed at the top of this page.


The speaker at our October luncheon will be Ms. Carmel Conaty, Goddard Visitor Center (VC) Manager.  She will describe changes and new additions to the VC, solicit our help in implementing updates to the museum archives, and provide us with a guided tour of the VC.        


TREASURER’S REPORT:  Bob Wigand reports that donations were received from the following members:  Art Anderson, John Boeckel, Betty Phelps, Dick Stock, and Dick and Barbara Wirth.     



§    October 6, 1975:  Thor-Delta launched Explorer 54 (also known as Atmosphere Explorer-D and AE-D).  The purpose of the AE-D mission was to continue the investigation begun by AE-C of the chemical processes and energy transfer mechanisms that control the structure and behavior of the Earth’s atmosphere and ionosphere in the region of high absorption of solar energy.  Unfortunately, a failure in the solar power panels resulted in the termination of operations on January 29, 1976, after slightly less than 4 months of useful life and the satellite re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere about a month later.

§    October 13, 1978:  Atlas launched the Television Infrared Operational Satellite-Next Generation (TIROS-N), the purpose of which was to provide higher resolution, day and night quantitative environmental data on local and global scales with technologically superior instrumentation than that which was available on earlier satellites.

§    October 5, 1984:  The Space Shuttle Challenger (STS-41G) launched and deployed the Earth Radiation Budget Satellite (ERBS), the first of three ERB Experiment platforms, that was designed to investigate how energy from the Sun is absorbed and re-emitted by the Earth.  Observations from ERBS were also used to determine the effects of human activities (such as burning fossil fuels) and natural occurrences (such as volcanic eruptions) on the Earth’s radiation balance.  Following deployment from STS-41G, Astronaut Sally Ride had to shake the satellite with the remote manipulator arm to get the solar arrays to deploy.  Also of note during the STS-41G mission was the Soviet Union’s firing of a laser “warning shot” at the Space Shuttle in response to the America’s Strategic Defense Initiative.  The laser beam caused malfunctions to on-board equipment and discomfort/temporary blindness to the crew, leading to a diplomatic protest.

ENVELOPE STUFFERS FOR SEPTEMBER:  A record-breaking number of envelope stuffers were on hand and the group completed its mission in just over an hour!  Participating were Jody Fillmann, Marj Gallagher, Marge Gustafson, Barbara Hamilton, Aleta Johnson,         Rose McChesney, Elaine Montgomery, Dave Moulton, Hugh O’Donnell, Agnes Smith, Ewald Schmidt, Bill Shields, Eloise Tarter,      Anne Van Allen, Bob Wigand, and Frank Wrigley.


RETIREE COMES TO YE ED’S RESCUE:  Retiree Joseph King came to the rescue by resolving the confusion Ye Ed created in writing about the number of the Interplanetary Monitoring Platform (IMP) and its launch date cited in the From the Goddard Archives – It Happened in September item appearing in last month’s newsletter.  Apparently, the correct designation was IMP 7, and there never was an “IMP 9” spacecraft.  IMP 7 was also known as IMP H in its pre-launch mode.  It was launched from Cape Canaveral late in the evening hours of September 22, 1972, when it was already the next day in Greenwich, England.  Since local standard time in Greenwich is “Universal Time (UT),” and since UT is typically used in spacecraft launch announcements, it became commonplace to refer to the launch date of IMP 7 as September 23rd (UT).  Although not cited in this month’s archival items, Joe notes that IMP 8 (also known as Explorer 50 and IMP J) was launched on October 26, 1973 (UT).  A most remarkable fact about IMP 8 is that it continues to telemeter data to Earth every day on the energetic particle and plasma environment of the nearby solar wind.  Are you still as confused as Ye Ed?  Joe didn’t proffer a comment on Ye Ed’s referring to the spacecraft in the September newsletter as a “probe” (which some sources call it) instead of a “platform” (which is no doubt the correct designation).  Ye Ed thanks Joe for the lesson and hopes he correctly edited Joe’s comments.            


E-MAIL ADDRESS UPDATES:  John Boeckel (John_Boeckel@yahoo.com); Irene K. Ferber (jlferber@atlanticbb.net); Herbert Mitnick (buddy1028@aol.com); Rosemarna S. Pajerski (RPFL@tampabay.rr.com); and Fidel Rul (sbcglobal.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. 


THE WHOLE TRUTH, NOTHING BUT:  What is the best way to describe retirement?

Answer:  The never-ending coffee break. 



§          Anthony Carolla, of Manassas, VA, passed away on July 3rd from cancer.  He was a Physicist who worked in various Goddard organizations, to include the Test and Evaluation Division, Engineering Physics Division, and the Applied Engineering Division.

§          Robert L. “Buddy” Grigsby, of Bowie, MD, passed away on August 18th following a ten-year battle with cancer.  He worked at Goddard as a Computer Operations Manager from 1959 until he retired in 1994.

§          Robert A. “Bob” Kenney, of Stevensville, MD, passed away from congestive heart failure on September 4th.  He worked as an Electronics Engineer at Goddard. 



§          Art and Mary Anderson wrote, “This small contribution is given with many thanks to all who volunteer with the distribution of the GRAA Newsletter and the Goddard View.  It’s always good to hear a little news from “home.”

§          John Boeckel wrote, “Emily and I have moved to Fayetteville, NC.  A small contribution is enclosed, so keep the newsletter coming. It’s fun to keep up with the “goings-on.”

§          Jean Ganoe wrote, “Thank you for all the hard work you do.”

§          Dick Stock wrote, “The GRAA Newsletter and Goddard View help to keep me up-to-date with NASA programs.  I was at Goddard in the early days (1959-1965) and then transferred to NASA Headquarters, where I stayed until 1979 when I joined the private sector.  Some of my most enjoyable and exciting days were those spent at Goddard.  Thanks, GRAA, and keep the news coming.  A check is enclosed to help your efforts.”

§          Anna Yoder wrote, “I deeply appreciate receiving the monthly GRAA Newsletter.  Many thanks to each of you who make this possible.”


GEWA’S FALL CRAFT FAIR:  GEWA is preparing for its 16th Annual Fall Craft Fair to be held on October 24th (Tuesday) in the Building 8 Auditorium from 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.  Registration is only $22 per table and is open to retirees.  Keep in mind that items must be hand-made, space is limited, and registration closes on October 20th.  For additional information and registration details, please contact Sue Rambo at 301-286-8776 or via e-mail at Susan.B.Rambo@nasa.gov.  The alternate contact is Kenneth Dearth at 301-286-3003.


GEWA EXCHANGE STORE ITEM OF INTEREST:  Are you up for a trip on November 9-10 to the Tropicana Casino in Atlantic City?  Call the GEWA Exchange Store at 301-286-6920 for details on this special trip during which you could win a bundle.  The price is a low $124 per person, double-occupancy.  Included are bus transportation, one-night hotel accommodations, buffet dinner, buffet breakfast, casino bonus, refreshments en route, as well as all taxes and gratuities.


Before winter weather sets in, you may want to treat yourself to the unique experience offered at the Maryland Renaissance Festival in Crownsville, MD, which is open every weekend through October 22nd.  The GEWA Exchange Store has tickets at a reduced price, so if you want a change of pace from the usual “theme park” environment, the Maryland Renaissance Festival just may be the place for you.  Call the Exchange Store at 301-286-6920 for details on the discounted tickets.


Are you ever in the mood for an evening out, but the choices at the movies of late just don’t impress you?  Then why not go to a dinner theater like Toby’s?  In addition to the Toby’s in Columbia, MD, there is a new venue in Baltimore.  Currently playing in Columbia is “Buddy” – the Buddy Holly story, and the show in Baltimore is “Ragtime” – the musical.  You can make reservations for either location just by stopping by the GEWA Exchange Show.   


Entertainment books are now available at the GEWA Exchange Store for both the metropolitan Washington and Baltimore areas.  The books are $25 each and contain a wealth of coupons that can be redeemed for savings at retail stores, casual and fast food restaurants, sporting events, hotels, etc.  The coupons can be used anytime through October 31, 2007.  The savings are incredible and the books pay for themselves after just one of two uses.