NASA Spinoff

APPROACHING SUSPICIOUS SUBSTANCES SAFELY

A mineral identification tool that was developed for NASA's Mars Rover Technology Development program is now serving as a powerful tool for U.S. law enforcement agencies and military personnel to identify suspicious liquid and solid substances.

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UNDERSTANDING FIRE THROUGH IMPROVED TECHNOLOGY

By studying fire through the science of combustion physics, scientists and researchers from NASA, academia, and private industry find new ways to improve fire safety and increase fuel efficiency. Since gravity's effect on fire masks many details that occur during the combustion process, scientists can gain a better understanding of

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Secure Networks for First Responders and Special Forces

When NASA needed help better securing its communications with orbiting satellites, the Agency called on Western DataCom Co., Inc., to help develop a prototype Internet Protocol (IP) router.

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Technology That's Ready and Able to Inspect Those Cables

Attempting to locate a malfunctioning wire in a complex bundle of wires or in a cable that is concealed behind a wall is as difficult as trying to find a needle in a haystack. The result of such an effort can also be costly, time-consuming, and frustrating, whether it is

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Lightning Often Strikes Twice

Contrary to popular misconception, lightning often strikes the same place twice. Certain conditions are just ripe for a bolt of electricity to come zapping down; and a lightning strike is powerful enough to do a lot of damage wherever it hits. NASA created the Accurate Location of Lightning Strikes technology

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Keeping the Air Clean and Safe—An Anthrax Smoke Detector

Scientists at work in the Planetary Protection division at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) sterilize everything before blasting it to the Red Planet. They take great pains to ensure that all spacecraft are void of bacterial life, especially the microscopic bacteria that can live hundreds of years in their spore

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All-Terrain Intelligent Robot Braves Battlefront to Save Lives

As NASA's lead center for creating robotic spacecraft and rovers, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) builds smart machines that can perform very complicated task far, far away from the homeland.

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Feeling Well Rested and Wide Awake When it Counts

Responding to a congressional concern about aviation safety, NASA's Ames Research Center created the Ames Fatigue/Jet Lag Program in 1980 to examine the extent to which fatigue, sleep loss, and circadian disruption affect pilot performance. The program’s primary research was conducted in field settings, as well as in a variety

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Fire-Resistant Reinforcement Makes Steel Structures Sturdier

In preparing to send man to the Moon in the 1960s, no detail was too small for NASA to consider when it came to ensuring that humans and their transporting spacecraft could withstand the powerful thrust of a launch, the harsh and unforgiving conditions of space, and the extremely high

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Clean Water for Remote Locations

Water is indispensable for human health and well-being. A person cannot live for more than a few days without clean, drinkable water. It is, therefore, one of the most crucial provisions astronauts need to live and work in space, whether orbiting Earth, working at a lunar base, or traveling to

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