NASA Spinoff

Medical Devices Assess, Treat Balance Disorders

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution You may have heard the phrase “as difficult as walking and chewing gum” as a joking way of referring to something that is not difficult at all. Just walking, however, is not all that simple—physiologically speaking. Even standing upright is an undertaking requiring the complex cooperation of multiple


NASA Bioreactors Advance Disease Treatments

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution The International Space Station (ISS) is falling. This is no threat to the astronauts onboard, however, because falling is part of the ISS staying in orbit.


Robotics Algorithms Provide Nutritional Guidelines

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution On July 5, 1997, a small robot emerged from its lander like an insect from an egg, crawling out onto the rocky surface of Mars. About the size of a child’s wagon, NASA’s Sojourner robot was the first successful rover mission to the Red Planet. For 83 sols


‘Anti-Gravity’ Treadmills Speed Rehabilitation

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution On Earth, gravity can cause a lot of stress to a person’s bones and muscles, whether the stress is caused by running a marathon or simply climbing a staircase. However, in space, the lack of gravity can also cause problems for astronauts’ bodies. NASA is seeking ways to


Crew Management Processes Revitalize Patient Care

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution In January 2009, birds struck the engines of US Airways Flight 1549 and forced an emergency landing into the Hudson River. Everyone on board survived, and the crew was lauded for remaining calm under pressure and keeping passengers safe. The pilot, Captain Chesley Sullenberger, is a former U.S.


Hubble Systems Optimize Busy Hospital Schedules

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution Beginning in 1985, a team of engineers at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore began developing software to manage various time-consuming tasks for the Hubble Space Telescope, launched in 1990. In the early phases of development, the complexity of scheduling different tasks became clear when the


Web-Based Programs Assess Cognitive Fitness

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution Astronauts, pilots, air traffic controllers, truck drivers, shift workers, and mountain climbers have something in common: All are at risk for impaired cognitive abilities due to stress or sleep deprivation. Whether in space or on Earth, stress and sleep loss can cause a reduction in certain cognitive abilities,


Electrolyte Concentrates Treat Dehydration

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution For astronauts returning to Earth, adjusting to full gravity can be just as demanding as any of the challenges they faced in space. While readjusting to Earth’s gravitational pull, astronauts can experience difficulties moving and balancing, headaches, nausea, and even fainting spells.


Magnetic Separator Enhances Treatment Possibilities

Originating Technology/NASA ContributionSince the earliest missions in space, NASA specialists have performed experiments in low gravity. Protein crystal growth, cell and tissue cultures, and separation technologies such as electrophoresis and magnetophoresis have been studied on Apollo 14, Apollo 16, STS-107, and many other missions.Electrophoresis and magnetophoresis, respectively, are processes that

Periodontal Probe Improves Exams, Alleviates Pain

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution“Dentists,” comedian Bill Cosby memorably mused, “tell you not to pick your teeth with any sharp metal object. Then you sit in their chair, and the first thing they grab is an iron hook!” Conventional periodontal probing is indeed invasive, uncomfortable for the patient, and the results can