Originating Technology/NASA Contribution

Providing astronauts with clean water is essential to space exploration to ensure the health and well-being of crewmembers away from Earth. For the sake of efficient and safe long-term space travel, NASA constantly seeks to improve the process of...

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution

The past, present, and future of NASA launch and space travel technologies are steeped in the icy realm of cryogenics. NASA employs cryogenics, the science of generating extremely low temperatures and the behavior of materials at those...

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution

NASA’s award-winning Earth Resources Laboratory Applications Software (ELAS) package was developed at Stennis Space Center. Since 1978, ELAS has been used worldwide for processing satellite and airborne sensor imagery data of the Earth’s...

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution

In addition to the mammoth engineering challenge posed by launching a cargo-laden craft into space for a long-distance mission, keeping the crews safe and healthy for these extended periods of time in space poses further challenges, problems for...

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution

Recently, NASA’s Stardust mission used a block of aerogel to catch high-speed comet particles and specks of interstellar dust without damaging them, by slowing down the particles from their high velocity with minimal heating or other effects...

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution

Since 1972, Landsat satellites have collected information about Earth from space. Specialized digital photographs of Earth’s continents and surrounding coastal regions have helped people study many aspects of our planet and analyze and protect...

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution

Affordable and reliable clean energy has been a tantalizing, but elusive, quarry. Featured in Spinoff 1985 and pioneered by Lawrence Thaller at Lewis (now Glenn) Research Center in the 1970s as a potential alternate energy source for long-term space...

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution

“We were the first that ever burst/Into that silent sea,” the title character recounts in Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s opus Rime of the Ancient Mariner. This famous couplet is equally applicable to undersea exploration today as surface...

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution

A space shuttle and a competitive swimmer have a lot more in common than people might realize: Among other forces, both have to contend with the slowing influence of drag. NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate focuses primarily on...

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution

NASA uses 3-D immersive photography and video for guiding space robots, in the space shuttle and International Space Station programs, cryogenic wind tunnels, and for remote docking of spacecraft. It allows researchers to view situations with the same...

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution

Timeless, beautiful, and haunting images: A delicate blue marble floating in the black sea of space; a brilliant white astronaut suit, visor glowing gold, the entire Earth as a backdrop; the Moon looming large and ghostly, pockmarked with sharp...

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution

Developed by Jonathan Lee, a structural materials engineer at Marshall Space Flight Center, and PoShou Chen, a scientist with Huntsville, Alabama-based Morgan Research Corporation, MSFC-398 is a high-strength aluminum alloy able to operate at...

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution

Working on NASA missions allows engineers and scientists to hone their skills. Creating devices for the high-stress rigors of space travel pushes designers to their limits, and the results often far exceed the original concepts. The technologies...

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution

In applications where stress on a structure may vary widely and have an unknown impact on integrity, a common engineering strategy has been overbuilding to ensure a sufficiently robust design. While this may be appropriate in applications...

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution

Insulating and protecting astronauts from temperature extremes, from the 3 K (-455 °F) of deep space to the 1,533 K (2,300 °F) of atmospheric reentry, is central to NASA’s human space flight program. While the space shuttle and...

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution

Successfully sustaining life in space requires closely monitoring the environment to ensure the health of the crew. Astronauts can be more sensitive to air pollutants because of the closed environment, and pollutants are magnified in space...

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution

While developing a measurement acquisition system to be used to retrofit aging aircraft with vehicle health monitoring capabilities, Langley Research Center’s Dr. Stanley E. Woodard and Bryant D. Taylor, of ATK Space, developed a...

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution

If you wish to explore a Martian landscape without leaving your armchair, a few simple clicks around the NASA Web site will lead you to panoramic photographs taken from the Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity. Many of the technologies...

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution

Aeroponics, the process of growing plants suspended in air without soil or media, provides clean, efficient, and rapid food production. Crops can be planted and harvested year-round without interruption, and without contamination from soil,...

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution

As increased energy efficiency, and particularly fuel efficiency, becomes a greater concern, hybrid and electric vehicles gain greater prominence in the market. Electric vehicles (EVs), in particular, provide an attractive option as...

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution

For over 30 years, NASA and U.S. Army engineers have worked together at Ames Research Center to make rotorcraft fly more quickly, quietly, and safely in all kinds of weather. Development of new technologies for both military and civil...

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution

The last 35 years have seen a sea change in the design of trucks on America’s highways, reflecting extensive research into vehicle aerodynamics and fluid dynamics conducted by NASA engineers. Thanks to the ingenuity of a Dryden Flight...

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution

NASA astronauts plan to return to the Moon as early as 2015 and establish a lunar base, from which 6-month flights to Mars would be launched by 2030. Essential to this plan is the Ares launch vehicle, NASA’s next-generation spacecraft that will,...

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution

Designers use computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to gain greater understanding of the fluid flow phenomena involved in components being designed. They also use finite element analysis (FEA) as a tool to help gain greater understanding of the...

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution

Among NASA’s research goals is increased understanding of factors affecting plant growth, including the effects of microgravity. Impeding such studies, traditional light sources used to grow plants on Earth are difficult to adapt to space flight,...

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution

Langley Research Center’s Soluble Imide (LaRC-SI) was discovered by accident. While researching resins and adhesives for advanced composites for high-speed aircraft, Robert Bryant, a Langley engineer, noticed that one of the polymers he was...

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution

Marshall Space Flight Center develops key transportation and propulsion technologies for the Space Agency. The Center manages propulsion hardware and technologies of the space shuttle, develops the next generation of space transportation and...

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution

A rehabilitative device first featured in Spinoff 2003 is not only helping human patients regain the ability to walk, but is now helping our four-legged friends as well. The late James Kerley, a prominent Goddard Space Flight Center researcher,...

Originating Technology/NASA Contribution

Who would have thought that stargazing in the 1980s would lead to hundreds of thousands of schoolchildren seeing more clearly today? Collaborating with research ophthalmologists and optometrists, Marshall Space Flight Center scientists Joe...

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...