NASA Spinoff

Modeling Innovations Advance Wind Energy Industry

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution One morning in 1990, a group of Glenn Research Center (then Lewis Research Center) employees arrived to find their workspace upended by an apparent hurricane. Papers were scattered, lights blown out. All eyes turned to the door connecting the office to its neighbor: a 20-foot wind tunnel.

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Nanofiber Filters Eliminate Contaminants

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution Water, an increasingly precious commodity on Earth, has always been priceless in space; but “priceless” is a figure of speech—water in space does have a price, and it is an expensive one. A single gallon of water costs over $83,000 to launch just into low-Earth orbit. Despite recent

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Thermal Insulation Strips Conserve Energy

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution Launching the space shuttle involves an interesting paradox: While the temperatures inside the shuttle’s main engines climb higher than 6,000 °F— hot enough to boil iron—for fuel, the engines use liquid hydrogen, the second coldest liquid on Earth after liquid helium.

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Satellite-Respondent Buoys Identify Ocean Debris

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution NASA operates a series of Earth-observing satellites, which help scientists learn more about our home planet. Through partnerships with universities and other government agencies, like the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Space Agency helps scientists around the world capture precise movements of the Earth’s crust to

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Mobile Instruments Measure Atmospheric Pollutants

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution As a part of NASA’s active research of the Earth’s atmosphere, which has included missions such as the Atmospheric Laboratory of Applications and Science (ATLAS, launched in 1992) and the Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS, launched on the Earth Probe satellite in 1996), the Agency also performs ground-based

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Cloud Imagers Offer New Details on Earth’s Health

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution A stunning red sunset or purple sunrise is an aesthetic treat with a scientific explanation: The colors are a direct result of the absorption or reflectance of solar radiation by atmospheric aerosols, minute particles (either solid or liquid) in the Earth’s atmosphere that occur both naturally and because

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Antennas Lower Cost of Satellite Access

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution Whether for scientific inquiry, weather forecasting, or public safety, the world relies upon the data gathered by satellite remote sensing. Some of NASA’s most valuable work is in its remote sensing capabilities—the ability to retrieve data acquired at great distances—affording a height and scope not available from the

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Feature Detection Systems Enhance Satellite Imagery

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution In 1963, during the ninth orbit of the Faith 7 capsule, astronaut Gordon Cooper skipped his nap and took some photos of the Earth below using a Hasselblad camera. The sole flier on the Mercury-Atlas 9 mission, Cooper took 24 photos—never-before-seen images including the Tibetan plateau, the crinkled

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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


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