NASA Spinoff

Telescope Innovations Improve Speed, Accuracy of Eye Surgery

NASA Technology One of the main components of NASA’s vision for the future of space exploration will actually have a keen eye for the past. The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), scheduled to launch in 2018, will have spectacular sight—after it reaches orbit, one of its main goals is to observe the first galaxies that formed in

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Superconductors Enable Lower Cost MRI Systems

NASA Technology The future looks bright, light, and green—especially where aircraft are concerned. The division of NASA’s Fundamental Aeronautics Program called the Subsonic Fixed Wing Project is aiming to reach new heights by 2025–2035, improving the efficiency and environmental impact of air travel by developing new capabilities for cleaner, quieter, and more fuel efficient aircraft.

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Bioreactors Drive Advances in Tissue Engineering

NASA TechnologyIt was an unlikely moment for inspiration. Engineers David Wolf and Ray Schwarz stopped by their lab around midday. Wolf, of Johnson Space Center, and Schwarz, with NASA contractor Krug Life Sciences (now Wyle Laboratories Inc.), were part of a team tasked with developing a unique technology with the potential to enhance medical research. But

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Tooling Techniques Enhance Medical Imaging

NASA Technology They can release as much energy as tens of billions of hydrogen bombs exploding at the same time. They send protons and electrons rocketing at near the speed of light. They heat gas in the Sun’s atmosphere to tens of millions of degrees Celsius. They send a blast of gas and particles toward Earth,

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Ventilator Technologies Sustain Critically Injured Patients

NASA Technology Consider this scenario: A soldier has been critically wounded in a sudden firefight in a remote region of Afghanistan. The soldier’s comrades attend to him and radio for help, but the soldier needs immediate medical expertise and treatment that is currently miles away.

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Protein Innovations Advance Drug Treatments, Skin Care

NASA TechnologyDan Carter carefully layered the sheets of tracing paper on the light box. On each sheet were renderings of the atomic components of an essential human protein, one whose structure had long been a mystery. With each layer Carter laid down, a never-before-seen image became clearer.

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Mass Analyzers Facilitate Research on Addiction

NASA Technology The famous “go/no go” command for Space Shuttle launches comes from a place called the Firing Room. Located at Kennedy Space Center in the Launch Control Center (LCC), there are actually four Firing Rooms that take up most of the third floor of the LCC. These rooms comprise the nerve center for Space Shuttle launch

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Frameworks Coordinate Scientific Data Management

NASA Technology Voyager 2 sailing beyond the far boundary of the solar system. The rover Opportunity churning across the red soil of Mars. Cassini-Huygens imaging the moons of Saturn. Capable of journeying well beyond the reach of human explorers, NASA’s robotic missions have probed the distant reaches of space, sending back to Earth streams of unique data and

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Burnishing Techniques Strengthen Hip Implants

When compressed air mixes with jet fuel and is ignited in a turbine engine, the temperature can reach 3,000 °F. As a result of this fiery exhaust, the turbine spins and then forces the air through the back of the engine, and the jet moves forward. While extremely hot air

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Signal Processing Methods Monitor Cranial Pressure

When you think of a beating heart, you might assume it beats at regular intervals, but in actuality, velocity and pressure change with every beat, and the time interval between each beat is different. Now a NASA-developed technology is helping researchers understand blood flow and pressure in ways that

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