Last update: 01-Oct-2014
Photos from the 2014 Social
Next Board Meeting
Tue, Sep 23, 2014, 11:30am
Watch for Jack Hannon's review of benefits
for LMC Retirees
First Wednesday in December
Wed, Dec 3,2014, 6:30pm
Golden Bull Grand Cafe - Gaithersburg
We had a great turnout for the 2014 Social at the Golden Bull Grand Cafe on
Sunday, September 28. View the album containing photos. Captions on the photos
identify the people in each photo. Click any photo to view the photo in a
larger size and display the caption. Navigate through the set using arrow links
or arrow keys on the keyboard. There is also a link to the slide show from this
If you took any photos you would like to share, contact
to arrange for transfer of your photos. If any of the captions are incorrect,
let the webmaster know.
First Wednesday in December 2014 (December 3, 2014)
Can you believe how fast this year is going? It's approaching that time of the year again:
the Annual 1st Wednesday in December COMSAT Old Timers Get-to-gather. The gathering will be held at the Golden Bull Grand Cafe in Gaithersburg..
It's a completely informal event starting around 6:30 pm. In the past, this event was for
Labs employees, but now its evolved to include all COMSAT Alumni, spouses and significant
It's a completely informal event starting around 6:30 pm.
The 2014 First Wednesday in December will be held December 3 at the Golden Bull Grand Cafe in Gaithersburg.
This is an informal event organized by Ron Johnson and sponsored by COMARA.
Full details can be found on the announcement page at
First Wednesday in December.
Please let Ron know if you plan to attend.
2014 Election for COMARA Board of Directors
The COMARA Board of Directors is please to announce the Directors in the 2014 Class (2014-2017). The Directors are:
- Denis Curtin
- Bob Kinzie
- Dan DiFonzo
CosmicHazards -- How Dangerous is Your Cosmic Neighborhood?
Joe Pelton and Firooz Allahdadi are editing a new book on orbital debris for the International Space University and have produced a video featuring ex astronauts Rusty Schwieckart and Ed Lu of the B612 Foundation and Dr. Donald Kessler of the Kessler Syndrome Fame.
Over the last few decades humans have not only learned that we are traveling through space on our own very special spacecraft called Planet Earth but that the journey we take around the Sun each year is actually a very hazardous journey. In some ways we are playing Russian roulette with a random set of rock and metal bullets that were first fired at our small six sextillion-ton planet millions of years ago. Watch the video from:
The Rise and Fall of Comsat
We received a note from Dave Whalen letting us know that his book,
The Rise and Fall of Comsat has just been published by
July 17 Update:
The book publisher offers a substantial discount code to COMARA members who
want to purchase the book. Several people have had problems getting the
discount. The publisher reports that these problems have now been solved.
David J. Whalen gained BA and MS degrees in Astronomy at
Boston University and University of Massachusetts, spent five years
in the US Navy (A6A Intruder),
and began a 30-year career as a communications satellite engineer.
Since 2007, he has been teaching in the Department of Space Studies at
the University of North Dakota, USA, where he was Chair of the
Department of Space Studies from 2007 to 2010.
Read Dave's email to COMARA.
Comsat Engineering - The Early Years
Sid Metzger, 1995
Note from Miriam Metzger: I just came across a draft of a paper Sid had written
for a symposium at G.W. It deals with the organizational and technical
problems during the early years at Comsat in great detail. I'm wondering if COMARA would be interested in it? We did tell her that we would definitely be interested.
See the paper in the Legacy section:
The Early Years
New COMARA member - Peter Varadi
Dr Varadi worked at COMSAT Laboratories from 1968 to 1973 and was the head of the Chemistry Department.
He sent an email telling us his book:
"Sun Above the Horizon - Meteoric rise of the solar industry" was recently published. Dr Varadi and Dr. Joseph Lindmayer (who was the head of COMSAT Lab's Physics Department) left COMSAT in 1973 to start
which was one of the two US companies starting the terrestrial photovoltaic (PV) industry. Varadi notes that the link to Solarex contains only half of the story. The entire story of the oil companies involvement in PV is described in Chapter 24 of my book entitled: "The big oil's involvement in PV".
The first 100 pages of the book describes history related to COMSAT. Comsat is also mentioned
in Chapter 26 "Space applications used in everyday life." for which I received lot's of help from Joe Pelton and Bob Strauss (both reviewed it).
The book can be now purchased directly from the publisher at a special price (Paperback for $19.96 and free shipping). The book is also available from Amazon.com for a few dollars more. You can read more
http://comara.org/legacy/varadi/varadi_book.htm. This page has an offer from the publisher
for the special discount, and a photo of the book cover
which displays the recommendation by Dr. Denis Curtin.
PayPal now available
Geza Serenyi (COMARA Treasurer) recently established an account with PayPal so that
COMARA Members can pay for annual dues or event charges using either their own PayPal
account or any of a number of credit cards. All of the personal information regarding
your credit card is handled by PayPal. None of the information is shared with COMARA.
When you complete a transaction using PayPal, you receive a confirming email from PayPal,
and the treasurer receives an email confirming the amount of the transaction. You don't
pay any extra for this service. Peter Hoover, our newest member, was the first one
to test the new feature.
NEM Satellites: Transforming Our Lives
The NEM (National Electronics Museum) Exhibit:
Satellites: Transforming Our Lives is supported by a number
of COMARA members. Joe Pelton provided a copy of the newest
concept drawings from Brady Petitti Design (Version 3)
This is a large document, 5.3 MB, so it may take awhile to load
if you have a slow internet connection,
or want to view it on a mobile device. This is a PDF file containing
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