Goddard Retirees and Alumni Association
P.O. Box 163, Lanham, MD 20703-0163


September 2012 http://graa.gsfc.nasa.gov 28th Year of Publication


September 11 Mark your calendar for the GRAA Luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Reservations are required, so either contact Alberta Moran on her cell phone at 301-910-0177 or via e-mail at mdspacebr@aol.com no later than noon on Friday, September 7th. GRAA Member Michael Comberiate (aka: NASAMIKE) will be our featured speaker, and his topic is entitled, “Engineering on a Shoestring.” You should not miss this spirited presentation, as Mike is animated, passionate, and more than willing to relate the adventures he has experienced.
October 9 Mark your calendar for the GRAA Luncheon at 11:30 a.m.

COMMENTS FROM RON BROWNING, GRAA PRESIDENT: At the August Luncheon, Preston Burch, Program Manager for the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS), brought us up-to-date on the next polar weather satellite program. JPSS came to Goddard in February 2010, after the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System was disassembled and the Department of Defense portion went its own way. Significant progress has been made in the past year in spite of underfunding during the first fiscal year. Congressional support improved after the 2011 tornadoes had such a devastating effect throughout the US. The JPSS is now defined as two large polar orbiters, three small satellites, and a major new ground system. JPSS-1 and 2 are based on the successful Soumi NPOESS Preparatory Project built by Ball Aerospace and launched in 2011. Standard Low-Cost Spacecraft are planned to be used for the smaller missions. The system, including operations through 2028, is projected to cost $12.9 billion dollars. NOAA and NASA/GSFC JPSS Program offices (some 400+ personnel) are co-housed off-Center in Building L40 on Hubble Drive in Lanham, MD. NASA controls about 85% of the entire program. All phases of program development exist concurrently because instruments and the ground system were underway as part of NPOESS. JPSS-1 is planned as a seven-year mission currently scheduled to launch in 2015. We apologize for identifying Arlin Krueger as one of the GRAA members who spoke at the July Luncheon to this year’s interns about personal experiences encountered that impacted his Goddard career. While we are more than aware that Arlin could no doubt have provided interesting stories of his own, it was Vern Krueger who accepted his time “in the barrel” that day. To Vern, we apologize. To Arlin, we hope you will “step up to the plate” next year.

September 18, 1962: A Thor-Delta rocket launched the Television Infrared Observation Satellite 6 (TIROS-6), the purpose of which was to continue research and development of the TIROS meteorological satellite information system; prove TIROS could stay in orbit for an extended period of time; obtain improved data for use in weather forecasting during hurricane season; and provide operational support for the Mercury-Atlas 8 launch scheduled for October 3, 1962. The TIROS-6 launch was moved up 2 months in order to work with TIROS-5 to help form an accurate forecast during the hurricane season. It was operational for 389 days.

RECENT RETIREES: Sandra M. Green, Cleophus T. Hunt, Jr., Craig L. Purdy, Peter M. Smith, and H. John Wood.

WE’RE NASA AND WE KNOW IT! : Curiosity, the Mars rover that landed successfully on the Red Planet on August 5th, was a success of NASA’s expertise and is now being celebrated on social media. It’s a different scenario than probably would have occurred at Goddard, but folks say that hype is mostly positive for any event. Bobak Ferdowsi, better known as the “Mohawk Guy,” is the young mission director (an MIT graduate, by the way) at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, whose actions encouraged a celebratory “shout out” from President Obama and the YouTube spoof video that has gone viral. Take a look at http://www.youtube.com and search on We’re NASA and We Know It.

THOUGHT FOR THE MONTH: We are never too old to learn something stupid!

TREASURER’S REPORT: Bob Wigand reports tax-deductible contributions were received from the following: Mary Adkins, George Anikis, Elaine Blazosky, David Douds, James Gavura, Leroy Goesel, David Harris, Janet Jew, Elizabeth Jay, Fred Kallmeyer, Michael Lauriente, William Mack, William McGunigal, Carl Roberts, and James Shiue.


•  John H. Boeckel, of Fayetteville, NC, passed away on August 14th after a battle with cancer. He was a Mechanical Engineer at Goddard and held numerous assignments and management positions, including Director of the Office of Flight Assurance and Director of Engineering.

•  Edward J. Brosnan, of Sykesville, MD, passed away on July 7th. He worked at Goddard as a Carpenter in the Plant Operations and Maintenance Division and then in the ‘80s moved to the Contracting Branch. He later moved on to work at other federal agencies before retiring in 2008.

•  Robert A. (Bob) Callens, of Baltimore, MD, passed away on August 1st following a two-year battle with leukemia. He was a Mechanical Engineer and served as a Propulsion Engineer and Fluid Systems Engineer at Goddard. For many years he was Section Head of the Fluid Systems and Hazardous Test Section and spent a couple of years in the Flight Projects Directorate prior to retiring in the early ‘90s.

•  Ralph L. Hicks, of Cashiers, NC, passed away on December 2, 2011. He served as a heavy bomber pilot in Europe during World War II. He was an Electrical Engineer at Goddard, specializing in space vehicle research and development management and testing. After retiring, he became an attorney and practiced law until his death.

•  Edward A. Rothenberg, of Laurel, MD, passed away on July 7th. He was a Chemical Engineer and worked on various rocket systems, including being the Agena Coordinator for the Nimbus-C Project. He spent the bulk of his Goddard career with the Systems Review Office in the Office of Flight Assurance.

•  Hubert Ray Stanley, Sr., passed away on August 7th following a battle with cancer. Starting in 1960, he was an Electrical Engineer at Wallops Flight Facility (WFF) and worked on increasingly-responsible assignments. When he retired in 1999, he was serving in WFF’s as Chief of the Policy and Business Relations Office.

•  Mary F. Tayman, of Columbia, MD, passed away on April 8th. She was a switchboard operator at Goddard.

CELEBRATION PLANNED FOR THE HISTORY OF BUILDING 2: You are no doubt aware that Building 2 at Goddard is in the final stage of being demolished, with occupants previously moved elsewhere on the Center (to the renovated Building 21 or to Building 34, the new Exploration Sciences Building). The Solar System Exploration Division (Code 690) is planning a celebration of Building 2’s history during the latter part of September. If you have stories, photos, or mission events in your archives that you would like to share for their display case and/or archives, or if you want to attend the celebration, please contact Jennifer Ash-Poole at jennifer.poole@nasa.gov (301-286-9650) or Regina Cody at regina.j.cody@nasa.gov. Although they would like to receive information as soon as possible, they will be collecting information to be included in the display case for the next six months.