NASA Spinoff

Immersive Photography Renders 360º Views

Originating Technology/NASA ContributionNASA uses 3-D immersive photography and video for guiding space robots, in the space shuttle and International Space Station programs, cryogenic wind tunnels, and for remote docking of spacecraft. It allows researchers to view situations with the same spatial awareness they would have if they were present. With

Space Age Swimsuit Reduces Drag, Breaks Records

Originating Technology/NASA ContributionA space shuttle and a competitive swimmer have a lot more in common than people might realize: Among other forces, both have to contend with the slowing influence of drag. NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate focuses primarily on improving flight efficiency and generally on fluid dynamics, especially the

Experiments Advance Gardening at Home and in Space

Originating Technology/NASA ContributionAeroponics, the process of growing plants suspended in air without soil or media, provides clean, efficient, and rapid food production. Crops can be planted and harvested year-round without interruption, and without contamination from soil, pesticides, and residue. Aeroponic systems also reduce water usage by 98 percent, fertilizer usage

Mars Cameras Make Panoramic Photography a Snap

Originating Technology/NASA ContributionIf you wish to explore a Martian landscape without leaving your armchair, a few simple clicks around the NASA Web site will lead you to panoramic photographs taken from the Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity. Many of the technologies that enable this spectacular Mars photography have also

Wireless Fluid-Level Measurement System Equips Boat Owners

Originating Technology/NASA ContributionWhile developing a measurement acquisition system to be used to retrofit aging aircraft with vehicle health monitoring capabilities, Langley Research Center’s Dr. Stanley E. Woodard and Bryant D. Taylor, of ATK Space, developed a novel wireless fluid-level measurement system.Current fluid-level measurement methods, which see widespread application, have significant

New Lubricants Protect Machines and the Environment

The Mobile Launcher Platform at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center is a two-story steel structure that provides a transportable launch base for the space shuttle. The main body of the platform is 160 feet long, 135 feet wide, and 25 feet high. When completely unloaded, the platform weighs about 8 million

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Additive Transforms Paint into Insulation

The heat generated by wind resistance and engine exhaust during the launch of a space shuttle is potentially damaging to the casings on the solid rocket boosters, which provide over two-thirds of the initial thrust needed to propel the spacecraft into orbit. To protect this important equipment, in the 1980s,

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Food Supplement Reduces Fat, Improves Flavor

During the Mercury missions, astronauts ate terrible food: freeze- dried powders and semi-liquids in aluminum tubes. Decades later, though, astronauts now have meals prepared by celebrity chefs and access to everyday items like shrimp cocktail, stir-fried chicken, and fettuccine alfredo. While the culinary selection has improved, the developers of these

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Detailed Globes Enhance Education and Recreation

Earth from space—swirling wisps of white against a backdrop of deep azure, punctuated with brown and green swatches of land, all etched on one orb surrounded by black space, floating, seemingly isolated, but teeming with humanity and other forms of life. It is an iconic image, first captured November 10,

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Corrosive Gas Restores Artwork, Promises Myriad Applications

Short wavelength solar radiation in the space environment just outside of the Earth’s atmosphere produces atomic oxygen. This gas reacts with spacecraft polymers, causing gradual oxidative thinning of the protective layers of orbiting objects, like satellites and the International Space Station, which maintain low-Earth orbit directly in the area where

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