NASA Spinoff

Public Safety

NASA Technology

Late on a sweltering morning in July 2016, David Lewis Jr. crawls into a concrete tube in a heap of rubble amid what used to be a Northern Virginia prison...

NASA Technology

On July 7, 2011, as Space Shuttle Atlantis sat on the launch pad just one day before it was due to make the final voyage of NASA’s 30-year Shuttle program,...

NASA Technology

When a plane overshoots the final approach for a landing, often the pilot’s natural—and dangerous—instinct is to pitch up the aircraft to slow down and...

NASA Technology

“Where does a 600-pound spider go? Anywhere she wants to.”

NASA Technology

It’s a safe bet that the skies of the future will be hosting a lot more drones than they do today. If you can see beyond the low-flying pizza and...

NASA Technology

To simulate weightlessness while rehearsing for NASA’s 1966 Gemini 12 mission, astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Gene Cernan practiced spacewalks...

NASA Technology

Rocket launches—or earthquakes—are already punishing experiences. But it turns out there are some things that can make them worse: like if the vibrations hit the...

NASA Technology

Sensors originally designed to predict failures in a helicopter transmission have found an unexpected use detecting problems in train tracks. When...

NASA Technology

More than a billion people around the world lack easy access to clean water—some trek for miles just to fill jugs for themselves and their...

NASA Technology

Parachute deployment is usually a fairly simple—if crucial—operation. A small pilot parachute tossed into the wind might pull free a pin securing...

NASA Technology

As its name implies, the Curiosity rover lowered into Gale Crater on Mars by sky crane in August 2012 has a lot of questions to answer. The most pressing,...

NASA Technology

One common hazard facing airplanes is ice: not just on the ground, but in the air, where it can coat wings or engines. But how do you know when icing...

NASA Technology

In the American Southwest and in northwestern Mexico, more than half the annual rainfall often comes in the form of the torrential and unpredictable...

NASA Technology

When NASA builds a spacecraft, materials engineers at the Agency have the important task of assessing the structural properties of the materials that comprise...

NASA Technology

From the Apollo missions through the Space Shuttle Program, NASA has relied on liquid hydrogen as a fuel source for the upper stages of its rocket launches. The reason...

NASA Technology

When global food prices spiked dramatically in late 2007 and into 2008, with the costs of many basic dietary staples doubling or even...

NASA Technology

Taking topographic measurements with single photons in broad daylight means pushing the limits of precision, and this is what Sigma Space Corporation...

NASA Technology

Residing inside the intestines of animals and in marshes, bogs, untreated sewage, ocean sediment, and other places devoid of oxygen are microbes called...

NASA Technology

B y the time the gas you fill your car with hits the engine, it’s been through quite a journey. Even apart from its transformation from organic matter into fossil fuel over millions of years, the process of bringing petroleum to Earth’s surface, where it...

NASA Technology

In the early 1960s NASA tackled one of its greatest challenges: sending a man to the moon. The physical embodiment of that effort, the Apollo...

NASA Technology

Onboard the International Space Station, or ISS, very little goes to waste. One of the more glaring examples is the spacecraft’s water supply, which...

NASA Technology

In November 2012, Bob Foraker was strolling through the NASA Technology Days expo in Cleveland, Ohio. He was there to look for technology that might apply...

NASA Technology

Turkana County in northwest Kenya has been reeling from several years of crippling drought. As a consequence, the nomadic peoples in the region have...

NASA Technology

As NASA planned the logistics for a proposed space station, called Space Station Freedom, in the early 1990s, one of the agency’s concerns was ensuring...

NASA Technology

As numerous achievements have taken place in space over the last 50-plus years, a number of innovations have simultaneously taken place on the ground. For...

NASA Technology

Robonaut 2 flew aboard Space Shuttle Discovery to the International Space Station (ISS) in early 2011, but its development has been many years in the making. In 1997, Johnson...

NASA Technology

In the 1980s, Langley Research Center teamed up with the Federal Aviation Administration to develop a technology for the space-based detection of wind shears,...

NASA Technology

On July 21, 2011, the Space Shuttle Atlantis, having successfully completed a 13-day mission to ferry supplies and spare parts to the International Space Station (ISS),...

NASA Technology

In a world that’s increasingly interconnected, the effects of even smaller-scale natural disasters or other emergencies are often felt far and wide. Not all...

NASA Technology

In 1990, NASA grounded its space shuttle fleet. The reason: leaks detected in the hydrogen fuel systems of the Space Shuttles Atlantis and Columbia. Unless the sources of the leaks could be identified and fixed, the shuttles would not be safe to...