UpFront

Get Ready for Integrated Industry

Initially posed by the German government to that country’s manufacturing industry leaders, one question has evolved into a global movement known as Industry 4.0: What’s the next stage of evolution for manufacturing? The goal of posing that question was to make production more efficient, cost-effective, and flexible.

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The Human Factor in Space

Next month, NASA astronaut Scott Kelly will return to Earth after a record-setting year onboard the International Space Station. During the year, Kelly’s identical twin brother, former NASA astronaut Mark Kelly, participated on Earth with him in The Twins Study. The test conducted will provide insight into the subtle effects and changes that occur in spaceflight as compared to Earth by studying two individuals who have the same genetics, but are in different environments for a year. The study will track any degeneration or evolution that occurs in the human body from extended exposure to a microgravity environment. Visit www.nasa.gov/twins-study

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Editor's Choice: January 2016

A miniature, low-mass vehicle is driven by a piezoelectric stack that generates ultrasonic vibrations that are transmitted through the vehicle walls. This eliminates the need to use gears or bearings, and avoids shafts or cabling through the vehicle wall. The transferred power can be used to activate sensors, and the motors are also selfbraking. The vehicle wheels or legs can be driven through the vehicle wall without perforating the structure, which is critical in harsh environments. Find out more HERE.

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NASA Tech Briefs Turns 40!

Join the party as we celebrate our 40th birthday this year with a special contest! How have you benefited from reading NASA Tech Briefs? Has the magazine helped you with a product design, a product introduction, a technology advancement, saved you time or money, or even advanced your career? Here’s a chance for you to tell us your story.

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Supercomputers Help NASA Understand Booster Separation

NASA’s new heavy-lift launch vehicle, the Space Launch System (SLS), will carry three times the payload of the space shuttle, requiring innovative rocket design. The SLS configuration consists of a center core stage with four RS-25 engines and two solid rocket boosters (SRBs) that separate from the core as fuel is exhausted soon after liftoff.

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Editor's Choice: December 2015

A Fluid Preservation System (FPS) was developed to address NASA’s need for a way to preserve body fluids collected from astronauts during flight. Sample processing is done within the system container, and the samples are hermetically sealed in a small, convenient package. Blood sample collection has significant commercial demand in areas such as cancer research, and for certain assays and bio-indicators. This application also extends to veterinary analysis and widespread monitoring of livestock, as well as use by first responders during natural disasters. Find out more HERE.

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A Robotic Titan to Build Rocket Parts

A titan resides at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. One of the largest composites manufacturing robots created in America, it will help NASA build the biggest lightweight composite parts ever made for space vehicles. The robot will build structures larger than 26 feet in diameter, and is mounted on a 40-foot-long track.

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