2013 Annual Report
This year brought a change to the management (recruitment, dues collection, etc.) of the NAL membership. The change resulted from discussions with NAL Headquarters and the JSC and KSC Chapters. As of October 1, 2013, the JSC chapter assumed management of our Houston Chapter membership. We will continue to support the National organization and they will continue to operate as an umbrella organization holding the NAL 501.c.3 charitable organization charter. This provides the JSC and KSC Chapters with tax-exempt status with the IRS and provides a point of contact in DC should we need to gain access to NASA, Congress, etc.
2013 Annual Summary:
In 2013, 55 new members joined the JSC Chapter of NAL and a number of members died or did not renew their membership. The Chapter had $40,637.87 in the JSC Credit Union as of
January 10, 2013. On December 31, 2013, accounts totaled $42,007.86, with no outstanding expenses. The Chapter sponsored two dinner program/social meetings, one social/lunch, six informal lectures, and three 1st Thursday Series presentations as described later. 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. In addition, the Chapter has added options on membership applications for them to make contributions to the NASA College Scholarship Fund or to the NAL JSC Education Outreach Fund. 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 2013 activities/accomplishments 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 NAL–JSC Chapter submitted a response to the call for information about the human space flight program, policy, and plan from the U. S. National Research Council. Copies of the submittal were sent to the JSC Director, to the KSC Chapter of NAL, to appropriate people at NASA HQ, to Jim Beggs and Mal Peterson, and to Bob Thompson. The response is posted on the Chapter website at TBD link.
The Chapter website was maintained in 2013 and was archived to a disk in November 2013. In October, the Board authorized Tietronix to begin redesigning the website to accommodate online payments for membership, socials, miscellaneous purchases such as books (as needed), etc.
The NAL took preorders from members to purchase the Arcadia Publishing Company’s book entitled, “JSC: The First 50 Years”. The $15 price was a cost savings of approximately $5 per book to members and provided a small profit to the Chapter.
NAL-JSC Chapter Board of Directors:
The 2013 Officers were: Chester A. Vaughan, President; Wayne Hale, Vice President; Norman Chaffee - Secretary; Susan Braymer - Treasurer. The 2013 Board of Directors were: Bill Bates, Larry Bell, Phil Deans, Estella Gillette, Denny Holt, Gary Johnson, Rick Nygren, and E. Bob Stewart. Guy Thibodaux 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 10, February 14, March 14, April 11, May 9, June 13, July 11, August 8, September 12, October 10, November 14, and December 12.
NAL Chapter Financial Report:
The audit of the JSC Chapter 2012 financial records was completed by the Audit Committee (Larry Bell-Chair, Bill Bates, and Susan Braymer) and presented to the Board in February. The Audit Committee made several recommendations including the recommendation that a simple planning budget for management of the chapter financial activity be implemented under the oversight of the Treasurer, Susan Braymer. The Board agreed with this recommendation and a 2013 budget was approved in May.
As of year’s end, expenses in all areas did not exceed NAL 2013 operating budget. Specifically, the budget vs. actual is given below:
Expense: Budget Actual
Programs/Social Events $ 5,710.00 $ 3,243.29
Education/Contributions $ 3,200.00 $ 3,000.00
Communications $ 200.00 - 0 -
History $ 100.00 - 0 -
Administrative/Membership $ 225.00 $ 44.38
Costs of JSC 50 Year Book $ 2,400.00 $ 2,333.66
Other ___ _17.50 $__ _17.50
Total Expense $ 11,852.50 $ 8,638.83
Interest from JSC Credit Union $ 1,000.00 $ 318.31
Programs/Social/1st Thursday Events $ 5,710.00 $ 3,389.00
Membership (Dues) $ 900.00 $ 2,110.00
Donations for Contributions $ 1,800.00 $ 1,795.00
Income from Book Sales __________ $ 2,470.28
Total Income $ 9,410.00 $10,082.59
In addition, an ad hoc Investment Committee (Susan Braymer, Bill Bates, and Gary Johnson) was established to evaluate investment options since the current CD rates were less than 1%. An investment of some of the Chapter’s reserve funds was approved by the Board for Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) through Schwab. This fund has low management fees and is low risk.
NAL Chapter Committees:
The 2013 committee accomplishments are delineated in the following paragraphs.
Membership Committee chaired by Estella Gillette
As a result of the Membership Committee’s efforts to recruit and retain members 55 new members were enrolled, bringing the Chapter’s total membership to 282. Total JSC membership includes 240 individual members, 23 supporting, and 19 lifetime members. The Chapter’s membership application form was revised and distributed to all new retirees and included an option for them to contribute to the NASA College Scholarship Fund and to the NAL JSC Education Outreach Fund. The Committee Chairman worked closely with NAL Headquarters to verify the accuracy of Chapter membership records, including the membership administration transition.
Program Committee chaired by Denny Holt
The Program Committee provided a wide range of space-related topics with a balance of current activity, historical perspective, and future plans. The activities included two dinner socials, one luncheon social, two special programs, and the seven First Thursday series. These activities are described under the paragraph entitled, NAL Chapter Dinner Program Socials, NAL Chapter Special Activities, and NAL First Thursday Series below.
Education Committee chaired by Frank Hughes
The Education Committee worked with Space Center Houston (SCH) to assist in their docent training with the goal of providing SCH visitors with a better experience, with special emphasis on the Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory (SAIL) tour and the Saturn V briefing tour. Also assisted SCH in soliciting NAL members who wished to be docents; however, no new docents were identified. Assisted the Pete Conrad Foundation in searching for mentors to assist finalist teams as they prepared for the sixth annual Innovation Summit hosted at JSC, April 10-13, 2013. However, no NAL members volunteered as mentors. The NAL continued to provide contributions to SCH to allow up to 10 schools to attend a day at SCH and to the Houston Museum of Natural Science-Challenger Center to allow up to 10 schools to attend the simulated space flight operations day. Additionally, NAL members contributed $325.00 to the NASA College Scholarship Fund originally established by noted Pulitzer Prize winner, James A. Michener.
Other activities supported by the JSC NAL Chapter members during 2013 included:
• 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 Annual Space Settlement Design Competition for High School Students (March 15-17).
• 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.
Communications Committee chaired by E. Bob Stewart
The Communication Committee continued to keep members informed of the activities including the dinner socials, special programs, First Thursday series programs, retiree breakfast and lunch gatherings, book sales, distribution of JSC Roundup and JSC Center Director’s Newsletter, etc.
History Committee chaired by Teresa Sullivan
The History Committee continued to maintain electronic and hard copy records of Chapter activities (current and past roster of officers, meeting minutes, dinner/social/special presentations, newsletters, correspondence, etc.). Additionally, Chapter records from the early 2000’s were cataloged and listed for future use.
NAL Chapter Programs in 2013
There is a perception in the local community that JSC is going out of business following Constellation cancellation and Shuttle retirement. Twelve 2013 NAL programs were conducted to update our members on what is going on at JSC and in Human Space Flight. The following activities/socials were held during 2013:
2013 NAL Socials and Lunch/Dinner Programs
In addition to two traditional Social/Dinner Programs, a Social/Luncheon Program was held. We appreciate the informative updates provided by JSC Center Director Ellen Ochoa, ISSP Deputy Program Manager Kirk Shireman, and Orion Program Manager Mark Geyer at the NAL Socials.
February 12, 2013 – ISS Program update – Kirk Shireman, ISS Deputy Program Manager. There were 68 attendees. The presentation is at ____URL_____
June 6, 2013 – Orion Program update – Mark Geyer, Orion Program Manager. There were 50 attendees. The presentation is at ____URL_____
November 21, 2013 – JSC Update– Ellen Ochoa, Center Director. There were 46 attendees. The presentation is at ____URL_____
2013 Special Events
NAL members participated in two special events.
1. June 20, 2013 – “Are you in the JSC Archives?” UHCL invited NAL members to attended The JSC History Collection at the UHCL Neumann Library contains 1.5 million documents covering more than 40 years of NASA human space flight activities and community history, and is home to the JSC Oral History Collection. To donate their document hoard and preserve the vital links for space history researchers, NAL members are encouraged to contact Lauren Meyers, JSC History Collection & UHCL Archivist, email@example.com 281.283.3936.
2. November 20, 2013 – “Early Space Shuttle Program Decisions Knowledge Capture Event” – Co-sponsored by JSC Knowledge Capture Office, AIAA, and NAL. A lively panel discussion featuring presentations from key Space Shuttle managers including the first Shuttle Program Manager Robert Thompson, Humboldt Mandell, Owen Morris, and Dick Kohrs. The panel was chaired by NAL Vice President and former Shuttle Program Manager Wayne Hale. The link to the video of the discussion is__NEED TO ADD LINK________
2013 1st Thursday Programs
A new “First Thursday of the Month Series” was well-received. JSC speakers provided excellent presentation covering a broad range of current technical topics and management challenges and general interest subjects. Session attendance was 35 – 50 members and guests.
1. April 4, 2013 – “Where did all the Shuttle Hardware go?” – Everyone knows which museums got the Orbiters, but Jill Lin, Orbiter Manager in the Shuttle Transition Office gave excellent insight into disposition of the extensive inventory of Shuttle assets.
2. May 2, 2013 – “Touch the Future-Engineering and Beyond” – Engineering Associate Director, Mike Hess, presented an excellent overview of the Engineering Directorate’s current development projects and activities that support NASA’s future plans.
3. July 17, 2013 – “Eleven things that saved Apollo 11; problems resolved during the flight” was an entertaining and interactive walk down memory lane orchestrated by Jerry Woodfill, JSC Engineering.
4. August 1, 2013 – “Exploration Overview; Missions to the Moon, Mars, Asteroids” – Bret Drake and John Connolly of Human Exploration Development Support Office and Steve Stich, Associate Director of Engineering gave an excellent overview of current planning and challenges as NASA seeks to formulate a roadmap for the future.
5. September 5, 2013 – “Humans as a System; design challenges for long duration missions” – Dr. Jeff Davis, Director, Human Health & Performance gave an excellent overview of research into long-duration crew health and performance issues (radiation exposure, inter-ocular pressure, etc.) as well as, non-traditional methods (contests) to leverage NASA assets by engaging space enthusiasts.
6. October 3, 2013 – “Mission Operations today” – Paul Hill, Director, Mission Operations gave an excellent summary of management actions taken to meet their budget challenge after Shuttle retirement and Constellation cancellation. Major changes were to revise ISS flight controller training and increased use of software standardization and commercially available hardware in the MCC.
7. December 5, 2013 – “JSC Exchange programs available to retirees” – Kerri Knotts, Manager, Exchange Operations explained the extensive programs, activities and services available at https://starport.jsc.nasa.gov/ . With the Holidays approaching, Joseph Callahan outlined the Wellness Program which included a wellness assessment provided as a member benefit. NAL members and spouses will receive the NAL discount by joining or renewing their JSC Exchange membership (see Gilruth Fitness Discount, page 7).
NAL (JSC) Submittal to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) of the National Resource Council:
• The NAL JSC Chapter submitted a position paper in response to a call from the NAS on Human Spaceflight.
• The inputs to be supplied to a Study Group on the Role of Human Spaceflight and their vision for a suggested future.
• This project (DEPS-ASEB-12-01) is funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
The project start date was August 1, 2012.
The estimated final report delivery date is May 2014.
• The request was centered on the following three questions:
1. What are the important benefits provided to the United States and other countries by human spaceflight endeavors?
2. What are the greatest challenges to sustaining a U.S. government program in human spaceflight?
3. What are the ramifications and what would the nation and world lose if the United States terminated NASA’s human spaceflight program?
• Inputs from NAL JSC members were integrated into a four page response that was supplied to the NAS on 08-July-2013.
• A listing of all submittals may be found at http://bit.ly/13mEg1i . The NAL JSC submittal is about midway down on the 4th page.
• A final meeting of the top-level Study Group is scheduled for 13 January, 2014. The final report is due in May 2014.
NAL Chapter Activities – General:
NAL Briefing to the JSC Center Director
The NAL briefed Dr. Ellen Ochoa JSC Director, on May 8. 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. The President offered to make a brief introductory presentation about NAL (5 minutes) at a future senior staff meeting, and will then try to follow up with selected Directorates and Offices to inform them of our capability and willingness to contribute to their programs. Dr. Ochoa offered to brief NAL members on an annual basis (probably an annual Social/Dinner event). She also supported NAL continued use of Gilruth Center meeting rooms as well as increasing the number of NAL Directors who can make the reservation arrangements.
NAL Support to the 60’s Chicks Secretarial Reunion
The President attended the secretarial reunion on September 20. There were 57 attendees (including 42 secretaries from that era, 7 of their guests, and eight VIP guests). The NAL provided a 1-year membership for an attendee (Susan Stone) and a copy of the book, “JSC: The first Fifty Years” for another (Mary Lopez).
Climate Change Study Group
An informal study group on climate change formed by a group (The Right Climate Stuff) that is not affiliated with the NAL. This group was formed as a result of the Climate Change symposiums held in 2011. Although members of this informal group may be NAL members, there is no other affiliation with NAL.
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.
Gilruth Fitness Discount
(Starport) NASA Exchange-JSC Gilruth Discount: NAL members and their spouses receive a 20% discount for membership fees to the Starport Gilruth Fitness programs. Retiree membership is $195/year and is $175/year for NAL members.
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, etc.
The NAL-JSC provided informational Newsletters to members throughout the year: January and December. 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 from the NAL included thank you letters to NAL program speakers; letter of congratulations to NASA retiree; and letters of appreciation to NAL Board of Directors and NAL members who implemented various NAL special projects. Correspondence sent from Committee Chairpersons included membership information/signups, invitations for guest speakers, etc.