The Story of a Man and an Idea
follows the life of Bob Beasley who was the “Father” of LI-1500, the material that kept the Space Shuttle astronauts in comfortable shirtsleeve weather inside their craft when the temperature was 2400F outside. Robert “Bob” Martin Beasley was the inventor of the Thermal Protection System for the space shuttle, the silica tiles that are on the surface of the orbiters that keep them from burning up while facing the rigors of the earth's atmosphere. His work at Lockheed in Sunnyvale, California was in high temperature ceramics. Beasley had an idea that pure silica could be used for a lightweight insulation instead of heavier ablative materials. The company was not interested in his idea until the start of the shuttle program at NASA. The rest is history.