NASA Spinoff

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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Advanced Systems Map, Monitor, and Manage Earth’s Resources

A “revolution in remote sensing” took place in the mid-1980s, when Dr. Alexander F.H. Goetz and his colleagues at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory developed a powerful instrument called AVIRIS (Airborne Visible InfraRed Imaging Spectrometer), according to Dr. Nicholas Short, author of NASA’s online Remote Sensing Tutorial. AVIRIS extended the capabilities

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Funded and administered by NASA, the Affiliated Research Center (ARC) program transfers geospatial technologies from the Space Agency and participating universities to commercial companies, non-profit and trade organizations, and tribal governments. The origins of the ARC program date back to 1988, when NASA's Stennis Space Center initiated the Visiting Investigator

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