2012 Annual Report

The biennial election of officers and Directors was conducted this summer. As a result of the change to the Chapter Bylaws, eight Directors were elected. Subsequent to the election, the President proposed that four new committees be established in addition to the History Committee, and WebMaster: Membership Committee; Program Committee; Education Committee; and Communications Committee. In addition Guy Thibodaux and John Lee were approved by the Board as Board Advisors. See the Chapter organization chart and the paragraph below entitled Establishment of NAL Chapter Committees. As of the November 16, Strategic Planning Session, the individual committees are developing the charter for their respective area of responsibility.

2012 Annual Summary
In 2012, 33 new members joined the JSC Chapter of NAL and a number of members died or did not renew their membership. The Chapter had $43,047.59 in the JSC Credit Union as of January 1, 2012, and $40,564.10 on December 31, 2012, without any outstanding expenses. The Chapter sponsored three dinner program/social meetings and two informal lectures, a tour of the Lunar Receiving Laboratory, and a strategic planning session. 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 2012 included sending letters of support to JSC and NASA 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, breakfast, and other social activities for JSC retirees; local technical conferences/presentations, etc. The Chapter website was maintained in 2012 and the 2011 to 2012 website content was archived to a CD in August 2012.

NAL-JSC Chapter Board of Directors
The 2012 Officers were: Chester A. Vaughan, President; Frank A. Hughes, Vice President; Norman Chaffee - Secretary; Mary Wylie-Stang - Treasurer. The 2012 Board of Directors were: Gary Johnson; John Lee; Guy Thibodaux; Audrey Rivers; and Dr. Harold Doiron. Phil Deans was elected in February to replace Don Nelson. Lonnie Jenkins and Teresa Sullivan served as Board Advisors. The Biennial election of officers and Directors was conducted in late summer. Results are given in Biennial Election of Officers and Eight Directors paragraph below.

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 12, February 9, March 8, April 12, May 10, June 14, July 12, August 9, September 13, October 11, November 8, and December 13. A special meeting was held on June 27 to determine the Board election results.

NAL Chapter Financial Report
The audit of the JSC Chapter 2011 financial records was completed by the Audit Committee (Mary Stang, John Lee, and Hubert Brasseaux) and presented to the Board in June. 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 Bylaws Update
A Bylaws Review Committee led by Vice President Frank Hughes, with support from Directors Audrey Rivers, Phil Deans, and other Officers and Directors conducted a thorough review of the Chapter Bylaws. The recommended changes were presented to the membership during the summer for a vote of approval. Changes include: (1) allows the chapter's mailing address to be that of the Secretary's as well as the President's; (2) allows non-Texas residents to be members to the JSC Chapter; (3) allows attendance at business meetings to be in person or by telephone; (4) increased the maximum number of Board of Directors from 6 to 8; (5) establishes that there is no limit to the number of consecutive terms of office for an Officer or Director; and (6) changed the date for appointment of the nominating committee from April to the summer of the election year, the time for ballot distribution from May-July to early summer, and ballot return deadline from July 31 to late summer. The membership accepted the recommended changes overwhelmingly, and the new Bylaws are available for review at the Chapter web site.

Biennial Election of Officers and Eight Directors

Mr. Gary Johnson chaired the committee (Wayne Young and Carl Shelly) to nominate officers and eight Directors for the 2-year term of September 1, 2012 through August 31, 2014. The Board requested that the Nominating Committee attempt to find multiple candidates for each Officer position and for all eight Director positions. In their efforts to carry out this instruction, the Nominating Committee identified only a single candidate for each of the four Officer positions, but did identify 15 candidates for the eight available Director positions. A copy of the ballot (PDF) that was distributed to all NAL JSC Chapter Alumni League members is attached. The election was conducted in August and the results were:

President Chester Vaughan
Vice President Wayne Hale
Secretary Norman Chaffee
Treasurer Susan Braymer
Directors Bill Bates
Larry Bell
Phil Deans
Estella Gillette
Denny Holt
Gary Johnson
Rick Nygren
E. Bob Stewart


Candidates who were not elected but who will be asked to assist the Board in other capacities were: Jack Knight, John Lee, Al Ligrani, Bob Mitchell, Olav Smisted, Guy Thibodaux, and Bob Wren.

The Board and all NAL members expressed their appreciation to Frank Hughes (outgoing Vice President) and John Lee, Aubrey Rivers, and Guy Thibodaux (outgoing Directors) for their dedication over many years.

Establishment of NAL Chapter Committees
Following the election of Officers and Directors in August, the President proposed establishing the following committees in addition to the History Committee: Membership, Program, Education, and Communications. The chairs of these committees and the goals and objectives of each are:

Membership Committee chaired by Estella Gillette:
The Membership Committee strives to recruit and retain members, as well as maintain updated records for timely renewal of all current members and seek sources for recruitment of new members.

Program Committee chaired by Denny Holt:
The Program Committee strives to provide the membership with a range of space-related topics with a balance of current activity, historical perspective and future plans.

Education Committee chaired by Frank Hughes:
The Education Committee provides the chapter membership with a wide range of educational opportunities for both the NAL members and students in the Houston area, Texas and where appropriate, across the nation.

Communications Committee chaired by E. Bob Stewart:
The Communication Committee plans to continue keeping our members informed of the activities of their organization. We will look for more efficient ways to communicate with NAL members, thus reducing the time required to send out notices, allowing more information to flow to the membership as is appropriate and to keep them informed without becoming a burden to them.

History Committee chaired by Teresa Sullivan:
Maintain electronic and hard copy records of Chapter activities (current and past roster of officers, meeting minutes, dinner/social/special presentations, newsletters, correspondence, etc.). This includes locating/cataloging any of these documents available since the Chapter was established in 1989.

NAL Chapter Dinner Program Socials
The following activities/socials were held during 2012:

April 12 - JSC Today
A dinner program meeting and social was held at Space Center Houston with approximately 60 people in attendance. Ms. Lauri Hansen, Chief of Staff for the Center Director of the Johnson Space Center was the guest speaker. She provided a briefing on the activities of the Johnson Space Center. The audience was quite engaged as evidenced by the questions during and after the formal presentation as well as the individual member engagement with her after the meeting. There were many very positive comments on her briefing from members that evening as well as since the meeting. We want to thank Ms. Hansen for her briefing and also thank her for allowing us to post her briefing charts on our website.

August 14 - Develop CisLunar Space to Create a Sustainable Space Program
About 50 people were in attendance at this dinner program meeting and social with Dr. Paul Spudis as the speaker. A short business meeting was held prior to the program and the recent election process was discussed along with introduction of the new Officers and Directors. The topic of Dr. Spudis presentation was: "Develop CisLunar Space to Create a Sustainable Space Program." Dr. Spudis and others believe that the development of the CisLunar concept should be the primary focus of the future NASA Human Space Program. Based on the questions following the meeting and the informal discussions after the presentation, all attendees seemed to be very interested in this subject. Dr. Spudis is a Senior Staff Scientist at the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston. Thanks to Dr. Spudis for an outstanding briefing and for allowing us to post his briefing charts on our website.

November 14 - Putting Curiosity on Mars and Why We Did It
There were about 85 attendees to Dr. Adam D. Steltzner's (Chief Engineer for Entry-Descent-Landing, Curiosity Spacecraft Program at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory) presentation. A short business meeting was held prior to the program and the NAL activities since the last dinner program were reviewed. Establishment of four new committees and two Senior Board Advisor positions were announced. Newly elected Officers and Board of Directors as well as the Committee chairpersons and new Senior Board Advisor were introduced. Based on the questions following the briefing and the informal discussions after the presentation, all attendees seemed to be very interested and impressed with Dr. Steltzne's briefing, the overall Curiosity program, and the innovative landing concept utilized. Thanks to Dr. Steltzner for an outstanding briefing which will be posted on the NAL website as soon as we receive his permission.

NAL Chapter Special Activities
May 16 - JSC Lunar Sample Repository and Sample Preparation Lab Tour
JSC NAL Chapter member, Dr. Don Bogard offered members an opportunity for a brief tour in Building 31 North. Dr. Bogard is a distinguished Lunar Scientist and worked in the lab to receive the lunar samples, to prepare them for investigation and to undertake and evaluate studies of the materials. He also was a key player in the design of the original Lunar Receiving Lab at JSC. Dr. Bogard toured three groups of 11 visitors at one time. Each tour was well attended an all those attending were very appreciative of Dr. Bogard's efforts and all learned a great deal and were able to ask many pertinent questions. Thanks to Dr. Bogard for the "SUPER TOURS"!!!

June 18 - Design, Operational Planning and Implementation of the Apollo Era Lunar Receiving Lab
The JSC Chapter of the NAL sponsored this special presentation. It was presented by our members, Dr. Don Bogard and Mr. Gary McCollum; as a follow-on to a tour of the Lunar Sample Repository facility that Dr. Bogard conducted for us on May 16. See the flyer. This informal presentation was about how the Lunar Receiving Lab came into being and how it operated. Thirty people were in attendance and all seemed interested and engaged as evidenced during the briefing based on the many questions and comments during and after the briefing. Thanks to Dr. Bogard and Gary for an excellent program. Briefing charts are attached.

June 21 - Mars Exploration from Its Moons
The JSC Chapter of the NAL sponsored a special presentation on the topic "MARS EXPLORATION FROM ITS MOONS" by distinguished scientist, Dr. S. Fred Singer. Dr. Singer discussed his proposal to conduct human exploration of Mars robotically from a human base established on Phobos (or Diemos). See the flyer. Dr. Singer proposes that the most effective way to explore Mars may be with a fleet of robotic rovers, tele-operated in real time from a manned base on Phobos (or Deimos). There were 32 people in attendance with a significant amount of audience participation. Thanks to Dr. Singer for an interesting and informative evening program. Briefing charts are attached.

November 16 - Strategic Planning Meeting
The Officers, Board of Directors, and Committee chairpersons held a 5-hour Strategic Planning Session at the Gilruth Recreation Center. The primary objective of the session was to develop an organizational strategy that ensures the NASA Alumni League (NAL) is well aligned to provide needed products and services to its stakeholders. To accomplish this goal, we will:

  • Become better acquainted with one another to improve team effectiveness.
  • Discuss the proposed membership, charter, scope of activities, and near-term planned activities for each NAL committee. Discuss stakeholder needs in each area and identify near-term/long-term goals and next steps for implementation.
  • Identify opportunities for developing relationships and partnerships that will help us accomplish our strategic goals for 2013.

The team made significant progress toward achieving our objectives and we plan to meet again in late January 2013 to continue our planning. Thanks to Jason Nelson, the NASA-JSC Human Resources Development/AES Training and Development Lead for being such an effective facilitator for this meeting.

NAL Chapter Educational Programs
The following activities were supported by the JSC Chapter of NAL members during 2012:

  • 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 16-18).
  • Supported the JSC Space Settlement Design Competition (October 12-14).
  • Participated on panel to commemorate JSC Chapter of the AIAA 50 years of history and progress.
  • 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
Climate Change Study Group
An informal study group on climate change was formed by a group that is not affiliated with the NAL. This was a result of the two Climate Change symposiums held late last year. Although members of this informal group may be NAL members, there is no other affiliation with NAL.

NAL Briefing to the JSC Center Director Chief of Staff
The NAL briefed Ms. Lauri Hansen, JSC Chief of Staff to the Director, on February 9. The NAL organization, mission, goals, and accomplishments of the last year were presented by the President. He expressed appreciation for JSC's support to our chapter (allowing JSC access badges for a 1-year period, etc.). He also stressed that our chapter is available to serve JSC in any capacity desired, and provided several examples in which we have provided support and services in the past. Ms. Hansen expressed appreciation for our efforts and offered to speak at an upcoming meeting to tell our members more about JSC's future plans and outlook. She also offered to consider NAL membership on JSC's informal mentoring council, and other special boards and committees that JSC forms.

Tree Dedication
The NAL supported the memorial oak tree dedication to honor the secretarial and administrative staff of the 1960's. This dedication was held just outside Building 1 (north side, just west of the main sidewalk) on May 5th.

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: January and September. In addition to keeping members abreast of symposia and dinner socials, members were reminded of the monthly breakfast (second Wednesday); monthly luncheon (first Thursday); monthly beer social (first Thursday); the Clear Lake Association of Senior Programs (CLASP) at the University of Houston-Clear Lake; the Lunar and Planetary Institute Cosmic Exploration Series; the University of Houston-Clear Lake Physics and Space Science Seminar Series; and the Engineering and Development Reunion as well as JSC or NASA events.

Formal Correspondence

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, 2011 (also filed/listed in 2011).
May 6, 2012 Letter to NAL JSC Chapter Audit Committee Thanking them for Conducting the 2011 Audit:
  • Hugh Brasseaux
  • John Lee
May 19, 2012 Letter of Appreciation to Dr. Donald Bogard for providing NAL members with tours of the JSC Lunar Sample Repository and Sample Preparation Lab in JSC Building 31 North on May 16
June 28, 2012 Letters of Appreciation to Gary McCollum for providing NAL members with a presentation of the Apollo Lunar Receiving Laboratory on June 18
July 7, 2012 Letters of Appreciation to the NAL Nominating Committee for the Officer and Director Candidates for the 2012 Biennium Election:
  • Gary Johnson, Chair
  • Wayne Young
  • Carl Shelley
August 9, 2012 Letters Notifying Officers of their Election as NAL Board of Directors and Officers:
  • Wayne Hale, Vice President
  • Susan Braymer, Treasurer
August 9, 2012 Letters Notifying Nominees of their Election to the NAL Board of Directors:
  • Larry Bell
  • Phil Deans
  • Estella Gillette
  • Denny Holt
  • Gary Johnson
  • Rick Nygren
  • E. Bob Stewart
August 9, 2012 Letters Thanking Other Nominees and Notifying them that they were not Elected to the NAL Board of Directors:
  • Jack Knight
  • Al Ligrani
  • Bob Mitchell
  • Bob Wren
  • Olav Smistad
August 12, 2012 Letters of Appreciation to Outgoing Board Members and Officers:
  • Harold Doiron, Board Member
  • Frank Hughes, Vice President
  • Audrey Rivers
  • Mary Stang, Treasurer
August 12, 2012 Letter to Peter Theisinger, Project Manager, Mars Science Laboratory, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory congratulating the Project Team on Curiosity's success.
August 15, 2012 Letters of Appreciation to Outgoing Board Members and Requesting them to Serve as Senior Board Advisors:
  • John Lee
  • Guy Thibodaux
August 16, 2012 Letter to Dr. Paul D. Spudis thanking him for his "Develop CisLunar Space to Create a Sustainable Space Program" presentation.
September 25, 2012 Letter of Appreciation to Bill Taylor for John Lee Photo Research
September 25, 2012 Letter of Appreciation to Mike Gentry for John Lee Photo Research