NASA Spinoff

Washing Away the Worries About Germs

Fresh fruits and vegetables have been in demand by orbiting astronauts since the early days of the Space Shuttle. As one can imagine, however, oranges, onions, tomatoes, garlic, and other fresh items can provide a cornucopia of smells in a closed environment such as the Space Shuttle or the International

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Making the Most of Waste Energy

The Thermo-Mechanical Systems Branch at NASA's Glenn Research Center is responsible for planning and conducting research efforts to advance thermal systems for space, aerospace, and non-aerospace applications. Technological areas pertain to solar and thermal energy conversion. For example, thermo-mechanical systems researchers work with gas (Stirling) and liquid/vapor (Rankine) systems that

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Pesticide-Free Device a Fatal Attraction for Mosquitoes

Are those pesky mosquitoes getting more entertainment out of your family picnic than you are? If the answer is yes, then it is time to reclaim your backyard with assistance from an unlikely partner.

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Remote Sensing for Farmers and Flood Watching

The Applied Sciences Directorate, part of NASA's Science Mission Directorate, makes use of the Agency's remote-sensing capabilities to acquire detailed information about our home planet. It uses this information for a variety of purposes, ranging from increasing agricultural efficiency to protecting homeland security. Sensors fly over areas of interest to

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Water and Air Measures That Make PureSense

Each day, we read about mounting global concerns regarding the ability to sustain supplies of clean water and to reduce air contamination. With water and air serving as life's most vital elements, it is important to know when these environmental necessities may be contaminated, in order to eliminate exposure immediately.

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Harnessing the Power of the Sun

The Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology (ERAST) Alliance was created in 1994 and operated for 9 years as a NASA-sponsored coalition of 28 members from small companies, government, universities, and nonprofit organizations. ERAST's goal was to foster development of remotely piloted aircraft technology for scientific, humanitarian, and commercial purposes.

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Valiant Zero-Valent Effort Restores Contaminated Grounds

Dense non-aqueous phase liquids (DNAPLs) are chemical compounds that can contaminate soil and groundwater to the point of irreparability. These substances are only slightly soluble in water, and are much denser than water. Because of their solubility, DNAPLs form separate liquid phases in groundwater, and because of their density, DNAPLs

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Then Why Do They Call Earth the Blue Planet?

While the most common photographs of Earth taken from space show the planet covered in blue water, NASA has managed to produce detailed color images, using satellite imagery, that show the remarkable variation of colors that actually make up the oceanic surface. An ocean's color is determined by the interaction

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Saving Space and Time: The Tractor That Einstein Built

In 1984, NASA initiated the Gravity Probe B (GP-B) program to test two unverified predictions of Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity—hypotheses about the ways space, time, light, and gravity relate to each other. To test these predictions, the Space Agency and researchers at Stanford University developed an experiment that

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Paper-Thin Plastic Film Soaks Up Sun to Create Solar Energy

A solar cell is a semiconductor device that converts photons, or light, into electricity. The most widely used solar cells today are made from wafers of mono- or poly-crystalline silicon.

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