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  Crawler designer dies

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Author Topic:   Crawler designer dies
Robert Pearlman

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 06-28-2005 10:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From the New York Times:
Donald D. Buchanan, a mechanical engineer and NASA official who played a leading role in designing the powerful "crawler" vehicles that carried rockets to their launching sites in the 1960's and 70's and that became indispensable in later space missions, died on June 13 at his home in Titusville, Fla. He was 82.

The cause was cancer, his family said.

In the early 60's, as the nation's space program accelerated and began to aim toward a manned lunar landing, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration faced the problem of ferrying larger rockets from storage to their launching pads at Cape Canaveral, Fla.

After first considering barges and a rail system, administrators approved the crawler concept, that of a four-track vehicle able to carry as much as 12 million pounds.

Read the full article here.


Posts: 1567
From: Sydney, Australia
Registered: Sep 2003

posted 06-28-2005 05:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Were we misinformed? When my wife and I took a tour of the Kennedy Space Center way back in 1973, our guide was at great pains to point out that the crawler was designed by a woman. So was this simply incorrect? It's a humorous aside I've used many times in talks.



Posts: 2024
From: Belfast, United Kingdom
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 06-28-2005 06:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This news saddens me. Another giant from the glory days of Apollo has departed this life, but not before one of his great successes, the crawler-transporter, was put to use again. On a personal note, in 2001, I bought a copy of the "Gemini Summary Conference" NASA report (SP-138)which had belonged to Don Buchanan. A friend of his was making a number of his old NASA reports available to researchers and space enthusiasts. He told me that, as of summer 2001, Don Buchanan was still enjoying his golf.


Posts: 933
From: South Bend, IN United States of America
Registered: Apr 2002

posted 06-28-2005 06:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceman1953   Click Here to Email spaceman1953     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My touch with the famous trawler covers two points.....a cachetmaker picked up some rocks that had been run over by the trawler during an Apollo rollout and had them made into tie-tacks. What a GREAT gift !

The other touch, is during the Apollo heyday....I wrote to ANYONE I could find, who had anything to do with Apollo.....yeppers, Marion Power and Shovel in Ohio worked on building that wonderful piece of machinery.....had as much to do with launching us to the Moon as any old Saturn V did !

Thanks for Mr. Buchanan and his team !

Rest in peace.

Gene Bella

[This message has been edited by spaceman1953 (edited June 28, 2005).]


Posts: 110
From: Gilbert, Arizona 85296
Registered: May 2002

posted 06-29-2005 09:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Orthon   Click Here to Email Orthon     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Unfortunately, Marion has fallen victim to the sickening "buy-out" trend that has been puttng people out of work in this Land of Opportunity of ours.

All times are CT (US)

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