NRL Annoucement
Florida Announement
GRAA Luncheon

Washington DC 20375-5320

Captain Daniel R. Gahagan USN, Commanding Officer, and Dr. John A. Montgomery, Director of Research, take pleasure in cordially inviting you to join them on March 17,2008, for a commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of Project Vanguard's successful launch. The program will open at 0930 a.m. in building 226, Naval Research Lab, Washington D.C.

The Vanguard I satellite was successfully launched into earth orbit on March 17,1958. Vanguard I achieved the highest altitude of any man-made vehicle to that time and established beyond doubt geologists' suspicions that Earth is pear shaped.  It carried two radios and a temperature sensor and was the first orbiting vehicle to be powered by solar energy. Photovoltaic silicon solar cells provided the electrical power to the 6.4-inch, 3.5-pound satellite until its experiments and transmitter fell silent in 1964. Vanguard I orbits Earth today as the oldest man-made satellite and will remain in orbit well into the 22nd century.

The anniversary program will include a moderated panel session at 10:30 a.m., featuring Vanguard pioneers, and a live electronic display of the Vanguard I satellite in orbit as it passes overhead Washington DC at approximately 1223 p.m. A Vanguard I spacecraft flight model will be displayed, along with posters showing the history of Project Vanguard. Following the panel session, light refreshments, including hors d'oeuvres and cake, will be served in The Dr. Herbert Friedman Room in bldg 226.

The commemoration event is by invitation only, due to security requirements for access onto the NRL campus. For all individuals planning to attend, please include a verification of US Citizenship (required).




50th Anniversary of the Launch of Vanguard 1
March 17, 1958 Saint Patrick’s Day
Vanguard 1 is the oldest man made object in Space.

Come celebrate with your old coworkers from NRL,
Martin, Aerojet, GE, RCA, PAA or Whomever!
Spouses, friends and family are also welcome.

Buffet Lunch in the Jamaica Room
at the Radisson at the Port in Cape Canaveral

March 17, 2008

Social Hour at 11AM
Lunch at 1145 AM
More Socializing until 2 PM

$15 per person payable at the door on March 17
We need your commitments/regrets by March 12.

Bob Adcock radcock@cfl.rr.com
Or John Neilon jneilon@earthlink.net

We may have missed someone so feel free to spread the word to
others who may have been involved.

Bring a souvenir or two for all of us to see and remember.
We may be able to arrange a bus tour of the Cape after lunch.
Let us know ASAP if you are interested in the bus tour.




                           Goddard Retirees and Alumni Association

P.O. Box 163, Lanham, MD  20703-0163

MARCH 2008http://graa.gsfc.nasa.gov 24th Year of Publication


March 11

Mark your calendar for the GRAA Luncheon at 11:30 a.m.  Using mostly photographs and memories, Ron Muller will be orchestrating an historical perspective of Project Vanguard, which will no doubt be a precursor of the more formal 50th anniversary celebration of Vanguard 1 that will take place (by invitation only) at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) on March 17th.  All Vanguardians are invited to reserve a seat at the luncheon, bring along artifacts from those “good ole days” to exhibit, and share remembrances of working on this highly successful mission with former colleagues and other attendees.  Reservations are required, so please call Alberta Moran at 301-937-7762 no later than noon on Friday, March 7th.

April 8

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

COMMENTS FROM RON BROWNING, GRAA PRESIDENT:  Jim Costrell, Deputy Program Manager of the Space Communications and Navigation Program at NASA Headquarters, treated GRAA luncheon attendees in February to a most enlightening overview of the soon-to-be published book, “Read You Loud and Clear.”  The book, with some 300+ pages, describes the history of Goddard’s tracking networks from Minitrack to the Unified S-band systems.  Jim presented a series of photographs of network activities over the years that will most likely appear on the book’s pages.  [Note: Ye Ed heard that the photographs evoked lots of nostalgic comments among attendees, with some who were personally involved even resorting to tears].  Although some mild consternation was expressed by some attendees that the book does not include enough mention of tracking activities from Goddard’s early days, it is hoped that can be alleviated in the final editing process.  All-in-all, readers of “Read You Loud and Clear” will be provided, in rich detail, a treasure trove of the history of Goddard’s tracking networks.  While the opportunity to reserve a copy of the book recently passed, a limited number of copies will be available at GRAA luncheons on a first-come, first-served basis once it is published.  How’s that for a tease to spur you on to attend one of our monthly get-togethers?  We will let you know once the book is released.

John Meagher, a retired Environmental Protection Agency employee, provided GRAA luncheon attendees with an overview of the Retired Scientists, Engineers & Technicians (ReSET) volunteer organization based in Washington, DC.  ReSET teaches courses on scientific endeavors to elementary school students in underprivileged metropolitan DC areas in an effort to encourage them to pursue math and science courses and to better prepare them for future careers in engineering or science.  The organization has had a number of volunteers in the past who have presented programs in aerospace science, with some field trips to Goddard.   If you can spare the time and are interested in volunteering, please contact Alberta Moran for additional information or contact Mr. Meagher directly via e-mail at johnmeagher@cox.net or by telephone (703-250-0236).

TREASURER’S REPORT:  Bob Wigand reports that tax-deductible donations were received from the following members:  Bernice Caulk, Bob Groves, Gene Humphrey, Jaylee Mead, Chuck Myers, Phil Smith, and Tom Underwood.  In addition, a contribution was received from an anonymous donor.

GRAA NEWSLETTER MAILINGSIf you no longer wish to receive GRAA mailings, please send a note to our Lanham address or an e-mail to Dave Moulton at davidlmoulton@comcast.netIf you have moved or want to make corrections to the address on your mailing label, write to our Lanham address or send an e-mail to Strat Laios at stratlaios@comcast.net.  If you already receive your newsletter via e-mail, please let Strat know when your address changes.  If you do not yet receive the GRAA newsletter via e-mail, but are interested in doing so, please notify Strat.

SAVE THE DATES:  You no doubt are aware of the Smithsonian Institution’s Folklife Festival that occurs on the National Mall every year.  This summer, in celebration of NASA’s 50th Anniversary, the festival will be showcasing the role that the men and women of NASA have played in broadening the horizons of American science and culture, as well as the role that they will continue to play in helping to shape the future by stirring the public imagination.  Dates for the festival are June 25-29 and July 2-6 (from 11:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily) and we expect there will be numerous opportunities for GRAA members to help out at the exhibitions.  Once we are apprised by Goddard management about available volunteer opportunities, we will be sure to let you know.  In the interim, you can learn more about NASA’s part of the festival by checking out the Smithsonian’s web site (http://www.folklife.si.edu).

THOUGHT FOR THE MONTH:  Your conscience is what hurts when all your other parts feel good.


  • March 8, 1967:  Delta launched the third Orbiting Solar Observatory (OSO-3).  Instruments on OSO-3 observed the solar extreme ultraviolet, soft and hard solar x-rays, cosmic x-rays and gamma-rays, cosmic ray particles, and the near-earth optical wavelength radiation environment.  Only real-time data was received from the spacecraft after the last tape recorder failure occurred on June 27, 1968.  The last data transmission occurred on November 10, 1969, and OSO-3 descended into the atmosphere on April 4, 1982.  It was one satellite the US Navy was not invited to shoot down!


  • Howard M. Caulk, of Silver Spring, MD, passed away on December 26th at age 92.  While at Goddard he worked in the Solar Physics Division.  He was one of the first employees to be transferred from the NRL and was sworn into his new Goddard position via radio while working on rocket firings in Ft. Churchill, Canada. 
  • William R. Gotthardt, of Big Pine Key, FL, passed away after suffering a brain hemorrhage caused by a fall occurring on October 20th.  At Goddard, he was an Aerospace Technician who worked in the Mechanical Integration Section of the Engineering Services Division in the Building 7/10/15 complex.  He was a member of integration teams building and integrating in-house satellites.
  • James R. Hagemeyer, Sr., of Bowie, MD, passed away from a heart attack at his daughter’s home in Brunswick, GA, on January 31st.  He worked at the NRL prior to transferring to Goddard when it first opened in 1959.  At Goddard he worked on payloads for experimental satellites until retiring in 1986. 
  • Mary Hammersley, of Catonsville, MD, passed away from a stroke on January 14th.  She was an Administrative Assistant in the Communications and Navigation Division of the former Applications Directorate, retiring in 1982.
  • Robert Jastrow, of Arlington, VA, passed away on February 8th from complications of pneumonia.  Dr. Jastrow worked briefly on NRL’s Project Vanguard in 1958 before accepting a transfer to the newly-formed NASA in December 1958 at the behest of Homer Newell.  He became Director of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies in 1961, a position he held for 20 years.  He is known as a renowned Astrophysicist/Astronomer who helped bring space down to earth for millions of people as a prolific author and television commentator on a wide variety of science-related topics.
  • Harry C. (Hank) Pritchett, of Sumter, SC, passed away from cancer on December 20th.  He was an Aerospace Engineer who worked principally on the Space Shuttle projects during his career at Goddard.
  • George R. Sauble, Jr., of Union Bridge, MD, passed away on February 11th from leukemia.  Mr. Sauble joined Goddard in 1961 and worked on ground systems in support of scientific satellites, one of which was the Orbiting Astronomical Observatory, the first telescope in space.  He served as a Section Head in the Spacecraft Control Branch and was responsible for programming onboard computers and managing command systems for a variety of spacecraft.

GRAA MEMBERSHIP DIRECTORY:  Strat Laios is preparing to publish the next iteration of the GRAA Membership Directory.  March 10th has been established as the cut-off date for any changes/corrections to be submitted to him.  If your mailing label is incorrect on your newsletter or if your telephone number or e-mail address is incorrect or not listed in the 2006 directory and you want either or both included in the new directory, please send the information via e-mail to Strat at stratlaios@comcast.net or drop a note to our Lanham address so as to arrive not later than March 10th.

GEWA’S SPRING CRAFTS FAIR:  Mark your calendar to attend GEWA’s Spring Craft Fair on Wednesday, March 12th, in the Building 8 Auditorium.  This annual fair offers an excellent opportunity to find unique specialty items and meet the artisans who make great handmade chocolates, jewelry, bath and beauty products, candles, and much more.