NASA Spinoff

Solar Refrigerators Store Life-Saving Vaccines

NASA’s battery-free solar technology powers vaccine refrigerators in hot, rural communities. NASA’s photovoltaic (PV) technology has advanced many of its missions. This renewable source of energy is produced when certain photo-emissive materials, such as silicon, eject electrons upon absorbing photons from sunlight. These free electrons can be captured, and the resulting

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Spacecraft Seat Standards Lead to Comfort in Your Car

NASA standards for optimum neutral body posture in spacecraft have led to ergonomic car seats. In the beginning, safety outweighed comfort in spacecraft designs for human space travel. Capsules like Gemini and Apollo were small, and most of the flight activities were performed while the crew was strapped to their seats.

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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

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Mars Technologies Spawn Durable Wind Turbines

A technology built for Mars supports the demand for clean energy on Earth. In the early 1990s, NASA was planning for an extended stay on Mars, and scientists at Ames Research Center were concentrating efforts on creating a complete ecological system to sustain human crew-members during their time on the Red

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Simulation Packages Expand Aircraft Design Options

NASA Technology When engineers explore designs for safer, more fuel efficient, or faster aircraft, they encounter a common problem: they never know exactly what will happen until the vehicle gets off the ground.

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Web Solutions Inspire Cloud Computing Software

NASA Technology In 2008, a NASA effort to standardize its websites inspired a breakthrough in cloud computing technology. The innovation has spurred the growth of an entire industry in open source cloud services that has already attracted millions in investment and is currently generating hundreds of millions in revenue.

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Behavior Prediction Tools Strengthen Nanoelectronics

NASA Technology Several years ago, NASA started making plans to send robots to explore the deep, dark craters on the Moon. As part of these plans, NASA needed modeling tools to help engineer unique electronics to withstand extremely cold temperatures.

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Power Converters Secure Electronics in Harsh Environments

NASA Technology “Space weather” is a term more frequently used as solar storms and flares are closely monitored and analyzed for the impact they might have on Earth. Blasts of radiation, if strong enough, can make their presence felt by temporarily shutting down power grids or interrupting communication channels. While such events on the Earth’s surface are

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Diagnostics Tools Identify Faults Prior to Failure

NASA Technology The Drilling Automation for Mars Exploration (DAME) project was designed to unearth the secrets of Mars—literally. The project’s engineers designed a light, low-power drill to penetrate into the Martian surface and return clues about the Red Planet’s geological makeup and ancient life that may have once thrived there.

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Archiving Innovations Preserve Essential Historical Records

NASA Technology The Moon hosts perhaps the most fascinating museum that no one ever visits. From reflectometers to space boots, the lunar module’s descent stage, and the famous first footprints left behind by Neil Armstrong, the Apollo 11 mission alone left over 100 artifacts on the Moon’s surface.

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