NASA Spinoff

Chlorophyll Meters Aid Plant Nutrient Management

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution On December 7, 1972, roughly 5 hours and 6 minutes after launch, the crew of Apollo 17 took one of history’s most famous photographs. The brilliant image of the fully illuminated Earth, the African and Antarctic continents peering out from behind swirling clouds, came to be known as

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Web-Based Mapping Puts the World at Your Fingertips

Originating Technology/NASA ContributionNASA’s award-winning Earth Resources Laboratory Applications Software (ELAS) package was developed at Stennis Space Center. Since 1978, ELAS has been used worldwide for processing satellite and airborne sensor imagery data of the Earth’s surface into readable and usable information. In addition to satellite applications such as data from

Innovative Stemless Valve Eliminates Emissions

Originating Technology/NASA ContributionThe past, present, and future of NASA launch and space travel technologies are steeped in the icy realm of cryogenics. NASA employs cryogenics, the science of generating extremely low temperatures and the behavior of materials at those temperatures, in a variety of fluid management and low-temperature applications including

Portable Nanomesh Creates Safer Drinking Water

Originating Technology/NASA ContributionProviding astronauts with clean water is essential to space exploration to ensure the health and well-being of crewmembers away from Earth. For the sake of efficient and safe long-term space travel, NASA constantly seeks to improve the process of filtering and re-using wastewater in closed-loop systems. Because it

Robots Explore the Farthest Reaches of Earth and Space

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution“We were the first that ever burst/Into that silent sea,” the title character recounts in Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s opus Rime of the Ancient Mariner. This famous couplet is equally applicable to undersea exploration today as surface voyages then, and has recently been applied to space travel in the

Battery Technology Stores Clean Energy

Originating Technology/NASA ContributionAffordable and reliable clean energy has been a tantalizing, but elusive, quarry. Featured in Spinoff 1985 and pioneered by Lawrence Thaller at Lewis (now Glenn) Research Center in the 1970s as a potential alternate energy source for long-term space flight, iron-chromium redox energy storage systems are a hybrid

Computer Model Locates Environmental Hazards

Originating Technology/NASA ContributionSince 1972, Landsat satellites have collected information about Earth from space. Specialized digital photographs of Earth’s continents and surrounding coastal regions have helped people study many aspects of our planet and analyze and protect the environment. Resolution and commercial availability of remote sensing through satellite imagery has improved

Treatment Prevents Corrosion in Steel and Concrete Structures

NASA’s Kennedy Space Center is located on prime beachfront property along the Atlantic coast of Florida on Cape Canaveral. While beautiful, this region presents several challenges, like temperamental coastal weather, lightning storms, and salty, corrosive, sea breezes assaulting equipment and the Center’s launch pads. The constant barrage of salty water

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Voltage Controller Saves Energy, Prolongs Life of Motors

In the late 1970s, Frank Nola, an engineer at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, had an idea for reducing energy waste in small induction motors. The idea, a method to electronically adjust the voltage in accordance with the motor’s load, was patented in 1984. The voltage controllers have become known

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Sensor Network Provides Environmental Data

The National Biocomputation Center is a joint partnership between the Stanford University School of Medicine’s Department of Surgery and NASA’s Ames Research Center. Founded in 1997, the goal of the Biocomputation Center has been to develop advanced technologies for medicine. Researchers at this center apply 3-D imaging and visualization technologies

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