Spinoff: Consumer, Home, and Recreation
Raised Relief Mars Globe Brings the Red Planet Closer

When the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) entered the Red Planet's atmosphere in March 2006, it joined the ranks of other noble explorers studying the planet over the past 2,000-plus...

Spinoff: Consumer, Home, and Recreation
Reflecting on Space Benefits: A Shining Example

NASA has long been known for having developed the thin, shiny reflective material used to insulate everything from the Hubble Space Telescope to hikers, from the Mars rovers to marathon...

Spinoff: Environmental and Agricultural Resources
PRP: The Proven Solution for Cleaning Up Oil Spills

The Exxon Valdez, an oil tanker exporting millions of gallons of oil, ran aground just after midnight on March 24, 1989 in Alaska, creating what is, to this day, the worst environmental disaster in American history. The affected area of coastal Alaska continues to feel the toxic results of that...

Spinoff: Environmental and Agricultural Resources
Progressive Plant Growing Has Business Blooming

Soil, water, and light. According to prevailing dogma, these are the three main ingredients for growing and maintaining healthy plants. But what if you take soil completely out of the equation and limit the presence of water significantly? Can you still nurture plants in such an...

Spinoff: Environmental and Agricultural Resources
FLIPPER: Validation for Remote Ocean Imaging

In order to better understand our solar system and the ways it supports life, scientists and researchers at NASA study the planets. Of course, one of the planets on which NASA focuses most of...

Spinoff: Environmental and Agricultural Resources
Paper-Thin Plastic Film Soaks Up Sun to Create Solar Energy

A solar cell is a semiconductor device that converts photons, or light, into electricity. The most widely used solar cells today are made from wafers of mono- or...

Spinoff: Environmental and Agricultural Resources
Saving Space and Time: The Tractor That Einstein Built

In 1984, NASA initiated the Gravity Probe B (GP-B) program to test two unverified predictions of Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity—hypotheses about the ways...

Spinoff: Computer Technology
A Predictive Approach to Eliminating Errors in Software Code

NASA's Metrics Data Program Data Repository is a database that stores problem, product, and metrics data. The primary goal of this data repository is to provide project...

Spinoff: Computer Technology
Scheduling Software for Complex Scenarios

Preparing a vehicle and its payload for a single launch is a complex process that involves thousands of operations. Because the equipment and facilities required to carry out these operations...

Spinoff: Computer Technology
Difficult Decisions Made Easier

NASA missions are extremely complex and prone to sudden, catastrophic failure if equipment falters or if an unforeseen event occurs. For these reasons, NASA trains to expect the unexpected. It tests its equipment and systems in extreme conditions, and it develops risk-analysis tests to foresee any possible...

Spinoff: Computer Technology
Difficult Decisions Made Easier

NASA missions are extremely complex and prone to sudden, catastrophic failure if equipment falters or if an unforeseen event occurs. For these reasons, NASA trains to expect the unexpected. It tests its equipment and systems in extreme conditions, and it develops risk-analysis tests to foresee any possible...

Spinoff: Computer Technology
GPS Eye-in-the-Sky Software Takes Closer Look Below

The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a satellite navigation system developed and maintained by the U.S. Government. Though initially designed for military applications, GPS is also a...

Spinoff: Computer Technology
A History of High-Performance Computing

Faster than most speedy computers. More powerful than its NASA data-processing predecessors. Able to leap large, mission-related computational problems in a single bound. Clearly, it’s neither a...

Spinoff: Industrial Productivity & Manufacturing Technology
Cryogenic Cooling for Myriad Applications—A STAR Is Born!

Cryogenics, the science of generating extremely low temperatures, has wide applicability throughout NASA. The Agency employs cryogenics for rocket propulsion, high-pressure gas...

Spinoff: Industrial Productivity & Manufacturing Technology
Temperature Sensing for Oil, Gas, and Structural Analysis

With retirement of the space shuttle imminent, and the commercial space industry burgeoning, NASA is searching for safe and innovative methods for carrying payload and passengers...

Spinoff: Industrial Productivity & Manufacturing Technology
Robust, Thin Optical Films for Extreme Environments

The environment of space presents scientists and engineers with the challenges of a harsh, unforgiving laboratory in which to conduct their scientific research. Solar astronomy and X-ray astronomy are two of the more challenging areas into which NASA scientists delve, as the optics for this...

Spinoff: Industrial Productivity & Manufacturing Technology
The Cutting Edge of High-Temperature Composites

NASA’s Ultra-Efficient Engine Technology (UEET) program was formed in 1999 at Glenn Research Center to manage an important national propulsion program for the Space Agency. The UEET...

Spinoff: Industrial Productivity & Manufacturing Technology
Nano Goes Magnetic to Attract Big Business

Glenn Research Center has combined state-of-the-art electrical designs with complex, computer-aided analyses to develop some of today’s most advanced power systems, in space and on Earth. The...

Spinoff: Industrial Productivity & Manufacturing Technology
Laser Mapping for Visual Inspection and Measurement

Each space shuttle orbiter has 38 Primary Reaction Control System (PRCS) thrusters to help power and position the vehicle for maneuvers in space, including reentry and establishing Earth orbit. Minor flaws in the ceramic lining of a thruster, such as a chip or crack, can cripple the operations...

Spinoff: Industrial Productivity & Manufacturing Technology
Electrical Conductivity in Textiles

Copper is the most widely used electrical conductor. Like most metals, though, it has several drawbacks: it is heavy, expensive, and can break. Fibers that conduct electricity could be the solutions to these problems, and they are of great interest to NASA.

Spinoff: Industrial Productivity & Manufacturing Technology
Spatial Phase Imaging

In 1928, Alexander Fleming, a young Scottish scientist with a side practice of discretely treating the syphilis infections of prominent Londoners, was researching agents that could be used to combat such bacterial infections. He left his practice for a 2-week vacation, inadvertently leaving several bacterial culture plates...

Spinoff: Industrial Productivity & Manufacturing Technology
Miniature Wireless Sensors Size Up to Big Applications

Like the environment of space, the undersea world is a hostile, alien place for humans to live. But far beneath the waves near Key Largo, Florida, an underwater laboratory called Aquarius provides a safe harbor for scientists to live and work for weeks at a time.

Spinoff: Health and Medicine
Space-Proven Medical Monitor: The Total Patient-Care Package

By mid-1963, American astronauts had visited space on six different occasions, all as part of NASA’s first human space flight program, the Mercury Program . During the final Mercury mission, launched on May 15, 1963, astronaut Leroy Gordon Cooper logged 34 hours in orbit, the longest...

Spinoff: Health and Medicine
From Planetary Imaging to Enzyme Screening

To work in NASA’s Mission Control Center and share in the excitement of seeing the very first close-up images of Saturn being piped back to Earth (from the Pioneer 11 spacecraft in 1979) is...

Spinoff: Computer Technology
The Echoes of Earth Science

NASA’s Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) acquires, archives, and manages data from all of NASA’s ...

Spinoff: Public Safety
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...

Spinoff: Public Safety
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...

Spinoff: Public Safety
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...

Spinoff: Public Safety
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...

Spinoff: Public Safety
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)...