Features

Industry Roundtable: 3D Printing

It’s being called a revolutionary change in the way we design and make products – a disruptive technology that will have far-reaching effects for both engineers and consumers. It’s 3D printing, and it is shaping the future of manufacturing. NASA Tech Briefs spoke recently with executives at four of the leading 3D printer vendors about what 3D printing is today, what it will be tomorrow, and if it really will change the world.

Posted in: Features, Articles

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Lithium-Ion Batteries Critical to Mars Spacecraft

Lithium-ion batteries Yardney Technical Products East Greenwich, RI 401-471-6599 www.yardney.com On November 18, 2013, the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) spacecraft was launched into space to begin its ten-month journey to Mars. The spacecraft is being powered by a combination of solar arrays and two advanced, space-qualified, 28-Volt, 55-Ah Yardney lithium-ion batteries.

Posted in: Application Briefs

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EZVI Technology Cleans Up Contaminants at Kennedy Space Center

Jacobs Engineering Group Pasadena, CA www.jacobs.com CORE Engineering and Construction Winter Park, FL www.core-encon.com A groundwater technology developed at Kennedy Space Center was used to treat subsurface contaminants near one of the center’s buildings: the Reutilization, Recycling and Marketing Facility (RRMF).

Posted in: Application Briefs

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Home Air Purifiers Eradicate Harmful Pathogens

An air scrubber used in space station plant growth helps you breathe easier at home. In the 1990s, NASA scientists were thinking of what astronauts would need to survive long-term missions to the Moon and other planets. One important requirement was a dependable source of food, which could be accomplished by astronauts growing their own produce in space-age greenhouses. But cultivating crops in a sealed-off environment results in the buildup of an undesirable gas called ethylene. Plants release the odorless, colorless fume into the air, which has the unfortunate effect of accelerating decay, hastening the wilting of flowers and the ripening of fruits and vegetables.

Posted in: Articles, Spinoff

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Sterility Verification of a Flowing Liquid

A client seeks a device capable of detecting contamination in a liquid flow. The system needs to detect non-liquid particles, bacteria, yeasts, mold, and/or spores in a continuous liquid stream. Any proposed sensing methodology must not physically interact with the liquid flowing in the interior of the channel. In operation, the detection system should report any contamination; the nature of the contamination can be determined later. A proposed solution need not identify the specific contaminant. An optical or light-based system is desired, but a variety of technologies may be acceptable if they do not require the fluid flow to be sampled directly.

Posted in: Tech Needs, NASA Tech Needs

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A Step Up for R2

The lower limbs for the humanoid Robonaut 2 (R2) are aboard the International Space Station (ISS) awaiting attachment by a station crewmember to R2’s torso, which arrived on the ISS in February 2011 during the last flight of the space shuttle Discovery. That event signaled the first human-like robot to arrive in space to become a permanent resident of the laboratory. Jointly developed by NASA and General Motors, R2 showcases how a robotic assistant can work alongside humans, whether tasks are done in space or on Earth in a manufacturing facility.

Posted in: UpFront

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Jet Fuel from Sunlight

The European Union-funded Solar chemical reactor demonstration and Optimization for Long-term Availability of Renewable JET fuel (SOLAR-JET) project has successfully demonstrated the production chain for renewable kerosene obtained directly from sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide, potentially revolutionizing the future of aviation.

Posted in: UpFront

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