Reinforced concrete structures such as bridges, parking decks, and balconies are designed to have a service life of over 50 years. All too often, however, many structures fall short of this goal, requiring expensive repairs and protection work earlier than anticipated. The corrosion of reinforced steel within the concrete...

Beginning with the Apollo Program in the early 1960s, the NASA White Sands Test Facility (WSTF) has supported every U.S. human exploration space flight program to date. Located in Las Cruces, New Mexico, WSTF is part of Johnson Space Center. The facility's primary mission is to provide the expertise and...

A fiber-optic voltage sensor developed a decade ago for NASA's aircraft and space power systems has been the building block for a string of new sensor products offering safe, accurate detection and measurement for electrically noisy and hazardous environments.

Pattern-recognition technologies developed by NASA to identify spacecraft and other objects in space have helped in the development of new, biometrics-based security solutions on Earth that recognize individuals to grant access to protected facilities, equipment, or information.

Hailstorm damage to the Space Shuttle's External Tank inspired a NASA innovation with extensive photography applications. In order to measure the defects caused by the storm, Kennedy Space Center used telephoto lenses to zoom in on the tank and view the damage clearly. However, since there was no reference object in the...

Referred to as the lifeline for any space launch vehicle by NASA Space Launch Initiative Program Manager Warren Wiley, an umbilical is a large device that transports power, communications, instrument readings, and fluids such as propellants, pressurization gasses, and coolants from one source to another....

What do NASA and ballistics have in common? More than the average person may know. Everyday, millions of Americans drive in vehicles, cross over bridges, and fly in airplanes without knowing just how important NASA's role in studying ballistics is in making these actions viable and safe for them.

Cybernet Systems Corporation, of Ann Arbor, Michigan, originally developed its gesture recognition technology for the U.S. Department of Defense. A 1997 Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract with NASA's Johnson Space Center also contributed to the development of the company's...

An unexpected tragedy took place on April 28, 1988, when the roof of an Aloha Airlines 737 aircraft ripped open at 24,000 feet, killing a flight attendant and injuring eight people. The in-flight structural failure of Aloha Flight 243's 19-year-old aircraft prompted NASA Langley Research Center...

In 1988, NASA began working with private industry to develop thermally adaptive phase-change materials that could be applied to astronauts suits and gloves for better protection against the bitter cold and scorching heat encountered in space.

In the 1960s, NASA civil servant Tom Hughes worked for Marshall Space Flight Center's Quality Control Laboratory as a systems engineer. Reporting directly to Dr. Wernher von Braun, Marshall's first director, Hughes was assigned as a NASA representative for quality control at the Michoud Assembly Facility in New...

In the late 1980s, Dr. Benjamin Dolgin of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory developed a concept for a high-damping graphite/viscoelastic material for the Strategic Defense Initiative (popularly referred to as Star Wars), as part of a space-based laser anti-missile program called Asterix. Dolgin drummed up...

A revolutionary, low-calorie sugar is now available to the food and beverage market, offering an all-natural alternative to table sugar and artificial sweeteners. Tagatose, a sugar that appears in nature in small quantities, began its unusual journey to the commercial market nearly 30 years ago, when Dr. Gilbert V....

Commonly referred to as artificial muscles, electroactive polymer (EAP) materials are lightweight strips of highly flexible plastic that bend or stretch when subjected to electric voltage. EAP materials may prove to be a substitution for conventional actuation components such as motors and gears. Since...

Over 40 years ago, NASA developed Radiant Barrier technology to protect astronauts in the Apollo Program from temperatures that ranged from 250 °F above to 400 °F below zero Fahrenheit. This feat in temperature control technology enabled the astronauts to work inside the Apollo Command Module...