April 10, 2000
Pamela Bookman, a NASA/Kennedy Space Center employee, recently joined the United States Space Foundation's Space Technology Hall of Fame.
Bookman, marketing program manager for new technologies in KSC's Technology Programs and Commercialization Office, was inducted for her role in the transfer and marketing of a product originally developed by a private company for the space program. Sun Coast Chemicals of Daytona Beach, Fla., sells many products based on X-1R Crawler Track Lube, an advanced lubricant used for the giant crawler-transporters that deliver the Space Shuttle to the launch pad.
"That's what we do in our office - transfer technology and try to help companies be successful in their ventures," Bookman said. "It's a win-win situation for NASA as well as for the company."
Bookman was officially inducted on April 6 at the 16th National Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colo. Joining her were Richard H. Beck and Daniel A. Drake, employees of NASA contractor United Space Alliance and the co-developers of the lubricant.
The Hall of Fame honors innovators who have transformed technology originally developed for the space program into commercial products. Bookman's induction marked the first time since 1990 that a KSC employee has been recognized by the foundation.
Beck and Drake helped formulate a lubricant used on the pins connecting the one-ton tractor tread belts of the crawler, which itself weighs six million pounds. The crawler, designed for the Apollo program in the 1960s, carries the Space Shuttle three miles from the Vehicle Assembly Building to the launch pad.
During that trek, lubricants must withstand pressures as high as 12 million pounds, the combined weight of the Space Shuttle and its Mobile Launcher Platform. The lubrication is used to reduce wear and noise and to lengthen component life.
The lubricant, biodegradable and non-toxic, arose from an Environmental Protection Agency finding that the previous lubricant was environmentally unacceptable. The resulting product, X-1R Crawler Track Lube, has been featured in NASA's Spinoff magazine as an example of successful technology transfer to the private sector.
KSC received a commemorative plaque in recognition of the employees' inductions.
"There's a lot of competition from across the country, so we're very pleased to win it," Bookman said.
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