NASA Spinoff

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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FLIPPER: Validation for Remote Ocean Imaging

In order to better understand our solar system and the ways it supports life, scientists and researchers at NASA study the planets. Of course, one of the planets on which NASA focuses most of its research is the Blue Planet, Earth, since this is the only one currently known to

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Progressive Plant Growing Has Business Blooming

Soil, water, and light. According to prevailing dogma, these are the three main ingredients for growing and maintaining healthy plants. But what if you take soil completely out of the equation and limit the presence of water significantly? Can you still nurture plants in such an environment?

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PRP: The Proven Solution for Cleaning Up Oil Spills

The Exxon Valdez, an oil tanker exporting millions of gallons of oil, ran aground just after midnight on March 24, 1989 in Alaska, creating what is, to this day, the worst environmental disaster in American history. The affected area of coastal Alaska continues to feel the toxic results of that

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Water Treatment Technologies Inspire Healthy Beverages

NASA Technology If you wandered the halls of Johnson Space Center in the mid-1990s, you might have run across Mike Johnson lugging a large container of freshly collected urine down to the lab. There, Johnson assisted the scientists who were tasked with developing technology to convert the waste into drinking water. Johnson’s role earned him a unique

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Dietary Formulas Fortify Antioxidant Supplements

NASA Technology The astronaut’s life and work is so different from our own daily experiences that it’s easy to forget that astronauts are people, too. Just like everyone else, astronauts have basic nutritional needs—such as five to nine servings of fruit and vegetables per day—in order to maintain optimal health. Here on Earth, it can be a

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