2011 Annual Report

The History Committee was established in 2011 and chartered with recording the history of the JSC Chapter of the NAL. Teresa Sullivan was selected as the Chairperson of this committee. Renee and Nick Lance were selected as committee members. In researching the written records available, the committee realized that there were significant gaps in the available chapter records. One of the initial tasks was to determine which records to keep and in what format, location, etc. In order to establish a format and to keep a running record over the years, it was decided to utilize the records from the 2011 year since all of those records would/could be available. It was decided that an annual summary would be the preferred documentation approach. This approach allowed the committee to record the history data from the most recent year as one of its first major tasks and to fill in the data for prior years in that format. It also provided a basis as to which data the team would be searching the available records retention requirements during the year in order to simplify the annual report preparation. For these reasons, we have a detailed history of the 2011 year with less detail in preceding years. The History Committee will strive to add additional data to the previous years as it can be made available.

2011 Annual Summary
In 2011, 38 new members joined the JSC Chapter of NAL and a number of members died or did not renew their membership. The Chapter had $42,616.58 in the JSC Credit Union as of January 10, 2011, and $41,335.51 on December 31, 2011, without any outstanding expenses. The Chapter sponsored three dinner program/social meetings and two1/2 day symposiums. The Officers and Directors continued to meet on a monthly basis. The Chapter continued its donations of $1,500 to Space Center Houston and $1.500 to the Challenger Center.

The Chapter continued support of local educational programs, the NASA Community Relations and Education Offices, JSC Review Teams and History Office, JSC Chief Knowledge Officer, and other professional organizations such as the AIAA and IEEE. Miscellaneous activities/ accomplishments during 2011 included sending letters of support to JSC employees and retirees, dedication to commemorate retiree accomplishments, etc. Among some of the benefits afforded Chapter members was the JSC access badge; use of the Chapter lending library; notification via the Chapter Newsletter of activities including monthly lunch and breakfast for JSC retirees; local technical conferences/presentations, etc. An informational brochure to recruit new members was developed this year and the Chapter website was revised.

NAL-JSC Chapter Board of Directors
The 2011 Officers were: Chester A. Vaughan, President; Frank A. Hughes, Vice President; Norman Chaffee – Secretary; Mary Wylie-Stang – Treasurer. The 2011 Board of Directors were: Gary Johnson; John Lee; Don Nelson; Guy Thibodaux; Audrey Rivers; and Dr. Harold Doiron. Lonnie Jenkins and Teresa Sullivan served as Board Advisors.

NAL Chapter Board of Directors Meetings
Monthly meetings were held at noon on the following second Thursday's of each month at Tietronix, 1331 Gemini, Suite 300: January 13, March 10, May 12, June 9, August 11, September 8, October 13, November 10, and December 8. The December 8th meeting was continued on December 15.

NAL Chapter Financial Report
The audit of the JSC Chapter 2010 financial records was completed by the Audit Committee (Mary Stang, John Lee, and Hubert Brasseaux) and presented to the Board in June; see letter. The Committee found the records to be in order and correct. The financial report was submitted to NAL Headquarters for their compilation and submission of the NAL income tax report.

NAL Chapter Dinner Program Socials
The following activities/socials were held during 2011:

January 25 – Space X Goals, Programs and Progress
Astronaut Ken Bowersox, Space X Vice President of the Astronaut Safety and Mission Assurance, was our speaker. He presented a general overview of Space X activities with emphasis on the Falcon 9 Launch Vehicle and the Dragon Crew Capsule. He provided a description of the basic design of the Falcon 9 and the Dragon Crew Capsule vehicles, as well as the status of the design, manufacturing, and testing of these vehicles. He discussed some of the difficulties encountered during the development as well as some of the major accomplishment. There were approximately 88 people in attendance and based on the interaction between the speaker and the audience, all were interested and enjoyed his presentation. Thanks to Astronaut Bowersox for an excellent presentation and for allowing us to post his briefing charts on our website.

June 28 - "Orion/MPCV and America's Space Exploration Program"
There were approximately 68 attendees. Mr. Larry Price, Lockheed Program Manager for the NASA Multipurpose Crew Module (previously the NASA Orion Program) was our speaker. Approximately 70 people were in attendance. Based on the Q&A session participation, as well as comments later, all were engaged and enjoyed the program. Thanks to Mr. Price for an excellent presentation and also for allowing us to post his briefing charts on our website.

December 13 – "Rocks to Robots: A Possible Approach to Lunar Industrialization:"
Dr. Lee Morin (STS-110) was the speaker and he presented work he has performed with a small team working on their own time to identify possible methods to utilize existing technology and launch vehicles to place robotic capability on the lunar surface. The robots would utilize lunar material to manufacture small building blocks which could be replicated. They believe the key to success is to utilize the lunar material to minimize the mass that would be required to be launched from earth. They suggest that this concept could be demonstrated over the next few years with the very limited dollar budget available to NASA and be a start toward lunar industrialization. There were approximately 75 people present for this very thought provoking, innovative and interesting briefing. See briefing charts.

NAL Chapter Special Activities
An Engineering Approach to Understanding the Climate Change Controversy
The first of two planned symposiums was held on September 12, 2011, and was quite successful with 77 people attending. The meeting was conducted as planned (see agenda below for details on the schedule and the speakers). We had a significant amount of discussions between the panel members and the audience especially during the panel discussions and after the formal meeting. Briefing charts used by the speakers during the meeting (except Wysmuller) are posted on our web site. Thanks to all the speakers for their excellent presentations and for allowing us to put their briefing charts on our website.

September 12, 2011 Agenda

1:00 – 1:05PM WELCOME: Chester Vaughan, NAL-JSC President
1:05 – 1:10PM OPENING REMARKS: Dr. Harold Doiron, Symp. Chair
1:10 – 1:40PM WALTER CUNNINGHAM: Reach Your Own Conclusions
1:40 – 2:25PM LEIGHTON STEWARD: Fire, Ice and Paradise - A Geologist’s View of Climate Change
2:25 – 3:10PM ALEX POPE: Stability of Present Climate Change Cycles
3:10 – 3:55PM TOM WYSMULLER: Climate and Sea Level Changes
3:55 – 4:10PM BREAK
4:10 – 4:55PM PANEL DISCUSSION with Our Four Speakers + Q&A
4:55 – 5:00PM CONCLUDING REMARKS: Chester Vaughan

The second of two planned symposiums was held on October 28, 2011, and was quite successful with approximately 60 people attending. The meeting was conducted as planned except Frank Hughes was unable to attend due to illness and Chet Vaughan filled in for him. We had a significant amount of discussions between the panel members and the audience especially during the panel discussions and after the formal meeting. Thanks to all the speakers for their excellent presentations and for allowing us to put their briefing charts on our website.

October 28, 2011 Agenda

1:00 – 1:05PM WELCOME: Chester Vaughan, NAL-JSC President
1:05 – 2:00PM DR. ANDREW DESSLER: Our Understanding of Climate Sensitivity
2:00 – 3:00PM DR. BARRY LEFER: Earth's Climate Change Over Tectonic, Orbital, and Human Timescales
3:00 – 4:00PM DR. JOHN NIELSEN-GAMMON: Multiple Causes of Extreme Events: A Case Study of Texas Drought
4:00 – 4:45PM PANEL DISCUSSION with Our Three Speakers + Q&A

NAL Chapter Educational Programs
The following activities were supported by the JSC Chapter of NAL members during 2011:

  • Regularly supported JSC Community Relations (Mike Kincaid) and Education (Susan White) in fielding requests for interviews about historical programs and education outreach.
  • Supported JSC Review Teams and JSC History Office activities.
  • Supported the JSC Regional Space Settlement Design Competition (March 18-20).
  • Cooperated with the AIAA on their Annual Technical Symposium in May.
  • Supported the International Space Settlement Design Competition hosted at JSC (July 29-August 1).
  • Contributed $1,500 each to Space Center Houston and to the Houston Museum of Natural Science, Challenger Learning Center to allow various school classes to attend space education activities at those facilities.

NAL Chapter Activities – General
The JSC Chapter sent a letter of support to astronaut Mark Kelly whose wife was wounded in the Tucson shooting. It was signed by the President, Chet Vaughan.

The History Committee was established in March and Teresa Sullivan was appointed as chairman. Nick and Renee Lance also serve on the committee. The committee was chartered to develop and implement a plan to compile the JSC Chapter activities since its inception in 1989.

In February, several members of the NAL Board of Directors met with the JSC Director’s Chief of Staff, Lauri Hansen, to familiarize her with the NAL organization. The Board offered to support JSC as appropriate and to request that Ms. Hansen keep the Center Director apprised of the organization, the NAL offer to help, and to find opportunities where NAL can be of service to JSC. Link to the presentation charts.

The NAL supported the memorial oak tree dedication to honor Dr. Maxime A. Faget. This dedication was held just outside Building 110 (close to the Maxime A. Faget rose garden) gate on April 12th.

In May, Ms. Irene Chan volunteered to serve as the Webmaster for the JSC Chapter. At the August monthly Board meeting, Ms. Chan presented a draft proposal for the new and updated Chapter website for review by the Officers and Board of Directors. A number of comments and suggestions were offered. The newly designed website was operational in September. In addition to the website development, guidelines for when and how items would be posted to the website were established.

In August, Ms. Rivers presented an excellent draft of the informational flyer for the Chapter to use to recruit new members from among the retired JSC civil servants. It was finalized in early September and was distributed at the secretarial reunion (see below) and to the December JSC retirees.

The Chairman sent a letter to the retired JSC secretaries who worked in the 1960’s prior to their September 23 reunion. The letter congratulated the secretaries and thanked them for their outstanding service to JSC and to their individual organizations. Mr. Vaughan attended the reunion as a representative of the NAL Board and presented information about the NAL to the group. There were 62 secretaries, guests, and honorees in attendance.

In November, many Board members attended the Videocon hosted by NAL Headquarters which included NAL members from both Headquarters and KSC, Alan Ladwig (Headquarters PAO) and Administrator Charlie Bolden. In addition to NAL Headquarters budget issues, NASA’s future mission was discussed.

NAL Chapter Membership Benefits
The following are among the benefits available to Chapter members.

NAL-JSC continued its agreement with JSC management to arrange JSC access badges for JSC NAL members which are valid for the 1-year period of annual membership. Badges may be obtained or renewed from the JSC Security office in Building 110 at the main gate.

Lending Library
The NAL-JSC has a lending library of aerospace books that have been contributed by members. These books span the age of all NASA programs – from Mercury to today. These books are stored at Tietronix Software at 1331 Gemini Avenue, Suite 300.

Periodic Newsletters
The NAL-JSC provided informational Newsletters to members throughout the year: April, September, October, and November. In addition to keeping members abreast of symposia and dinner socials, members were reminded of the monthly breakfast (second Wednesday); monthly luncheon (first Thursday); and monthly beer social (first Thursday) as well as JSC or NASA events.

Formal Correspondence
January 21, 2011 - Letter of Support to Astronaut (Captain) Mark Kelly following the shooting of his wife Gabrielle Giffords in the January Arizona tragedy

June 30, 2011 - Letter of Appreciation to John Lee for chairing the Houston Chapter’s Audit Committee

June 30, 2011 - Letter of Appreciation to Hugh Brasseaux serving on the Houston Chapter Audit Committee

June 30, 2011 - Letter of Appreciation to Larry Price for presenting the Orion-MCVP to the NAL members attending the June 28 social

August 20, 2011 – Letter of Appreciation to the Secretaries from the 1960’s to be presented at the September 9 reunion (includes copy of letter of appreciation sent by the secretarial group to JSC Director Mike Coats, December 10, 2011)

November 7, 2011 – Letter requesting Astronaut Lee Morin’s presentation on “Future Lunar Operations Utilizing In-Situ Resources” to the NAL members attending the December 8 social (which was later changed to December 13)

January 4, 2012 - Letter to Dr. Lee Morin thanking him for his “Rocks to Robots: A Possible Approach to Lunar Industrialization” presentation to the JSC Chapter on December 13.