Latest NASA spin-off Stories

2008-05-28 14:05:00

Some companies are starting to mimic nature to develop high-tech goods. A U.N.-backed report shows that whale hearts hold clues to making pacemakers, and lizard skins are showing how to cut friction in electrical appliances.Some of these advances could save companies hundreds of millions of dollars. The wings of desert beetles could improve water collection and the drought-resistant African "resurrection plant" indicates ways to store vaccines without refrigeration."Biomimicry is a field...

2007-10-01 15:28:58

It's no mystery that over the years society has enjoyed amenities and technological advances made by NASA. Often these discoveries find their way into mainstream lifestyles through a process referred to as technology transfer or spinoffs. So can the agency that brought you semiconductor cubing, enriched baby food, improved athletic shoes and comfier mattresses help solve a mystery of national importance? The Charters of Freedom -- the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the...

2007-08-23 11:25:29

Thanks in part to NASA research, law enforcement now has better "teeth" to take a bite out of crime. A tire deflation device (TDD) is a strip that contains embedded metal spikes. The strip is thrown over the road in front of a speeding vehicle, deflating the tires and forcing it to stop. This device lets law enforcement stop a speeding vehicle safely, often without the need of a dangerous high-speed pursuit. The goal of the design is to keep spikes attached to the strip unless a tire runs...

2007-03-27 10:15:00

A simple NASA technology that protected Apollo and Skylab is still coming to the rescue in space and on Earth. NASA has used the same thin, shining insulation material on virtually all manned and unmanned missions. A memorable moment in the insulation's history was seeing its shiny swath around the base of the Apollo lunar landing vehicles. In 1973 a parasol-type sunshield made of the material helped to save Skylab after the spacecraft lost a heat shield during launch and began to overheat....

2007-01-30 08:03:28

Icy airplane wings can be a serious safety hazard, especially during takeoff. It doesn't take much: a sheet of ice no thicker than a compact disc can reduce lift by 25 percent or more. But an anti-icing fluid developed by engineers at NASA's Ames Research Center helps stop ice from ever forming. Airplane wings are typically cleared with a deicing solution that's applied after ice has already formed. The NASA-developed formula takes the "ounce of prevention" approach. When applied to a dry...

2006-04-03 23:29:44

MISSOULA (AP) - Chuck Leonard gets motion sickness just by sitting in the back seat of a moving car. So the University of Montana researcher is already resigned to the fact that his project with NASA next week is going to end with him being sick. Leonard and two graduate students, Jim Sykes and Eric Kruger, are to take to the skies above Houston on April 12 aboard a C-9 jet that flies a series of roller-coaster arcs to create weightlessness to test a device that Leonard and a Russian...

2006-01-11 07:05:50

NASA -- There are space invaders in your home, but they're not like creatures from a 1950s science fiction movie. They're products you use often, perhaps without realizing they came from space technology and innovation. About 50 years have passed since the beginning of the Space Age, and most of these products have become so commonplace that their origins rooted in man's efforts to explore the universe may have been forgotten. It's easier to see the connection between high-tech innovations...

2005-11-04 14:25:00

NASA -- Paul Mogan once struggled with tasks people with sight often take for granted. Visually impaired since the age of 19, Mogan couldn't read the engineering reference books he needed for his job; they were too heavy to hold up close to his face. And filling out paper forms wasn't easy, because once his magnifying glass was close enough to the paper for him to read it, there usually wasn't room for the pen. But that was life before JORDYâ“ž¢. In 1999, Mogan...

2005-03-18 18:10:42

NASA -- In the not-so-distant future, the hand tightening bolts during space structure assembly might not be human. Tomorrow's astronauts will find themselves working side by side in space with human-like robots called "Robonauts." And while the faceless machines might look a little strange, these Robonauts are really quite sensitive. Don't expect to see them making the rounds on the talk-show circuit discussing their feelings, though. Their kind of sensitivity is strictly high-tech.Now the...

Word of the Day
  • The prevailing range of a vocal or instrumental part, within which most of the tones lie.
This word is Italian in origin and comes from the Latin 'textura,' web, structure.