NASA Spin-Offs – Much More than Space Travel
NASA’s Spin-offs are making the world abetter place. Whether it’s the self-driving tractor that harvests food, cameras used in car-crash safety tests, or tools making brain surgery safer, NASA technology plays a significant role in our daily lives.
- NASA’s work at its Jet Propulsion Laboratory on precise GPS measurements enabled John Deere to build the first widely available self-driving tractors, which now work much of the world’s farmland;
- the agency’s longstanding investment at its Glenn Research Center in heat pipes helped Thermacore Inc. adapt the technology to wick away dangerous heat during brain surgery;
- a high-speed, high-resolution camera designed to monitor the Orion spacecraft’s landing parachutes at NASA’s Johnson Space Center now is improving data in automobile crash tests.
- laser imaging technology that discovered snow on Mars and now helps archeologists uncover humanity’s past;
- Earth-observing satellites that spot forest fires before they spread
- Software that helps create supersonic jets we could all fly on.
- A new wing design that could make airplanes and wind turbines more efficient;
- an easy-to-use device that separates DNA, RNA, and proteins outside a traditional lab environment, in a developing country or in space;
- a system that autonomously detects faulty wiring and reroutes around it.
Spinoff is a part of the NASA’s Technology Transfer Program. The program is charged with finding the widest possible applications for NASA technology through partnerships and licensing agreements with industry, ensuring that NASA’s investments in its missions and research find additional applications that benefit the nation and the world.