Baton Rouge Astronomical Society Forum

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 Post subject: NASA Spinoff Technology
PostPosted: March 13th, 2014, 6:44 pm 
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Location: Baton Rouge, LA
Babies are born day after day, and I wonder how many of their parents know that enriched baby food was developed as a result of United States participation in space exploration. NASA experimented with certain algae to see if they could help in recycling during long-term space travel. A by-product of some of these experiements was a fatty acid similar to those found in human milk. The experiments made baby formulas more nutritionally rich.

HRPO Center Supervisor Tom Northrop will give his tenth (!) lecture on spinoff technology from the American space program on Friday, 21 March at 7:30pm. Anyone who has not seen this entertaining presentation should try to attend.

NASA spinoff technology:
http://spinoff.nasa.gov/


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PostPosted: March 20th, 2014, 8:11 pm 
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Engineers at NASA work with private companies to produce purification systems that yield cleaner drinking water. Drinking water is scarce in several undeveloped places on Earth, and commercial versions of these systems are utilized in many of those locations.

More information:
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/benefits/water_purification.html


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PostPosted: March 29th, 2014, 8:37 pm 
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Many don't realize it, but the portable cordless vacuums that we use for sofas and such may not exist in their present form if not for the innovations required by the American space program. The drills used to extract samples from the surface of the Moon needed to be battery-operated, portable, lightweight and energy-efficient. Today's handheld vacuums are a direct descendant of that technology.

A picture of one of the drills:
http://www.lpi.usra.edu/lunar/samples/apollo/tools/images/drill_lg.gif


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PostPosted: April 9th, 2014, 5:23 pm 
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A fruitful relationship between NASA and several food companies begat the freeze-dried process, allowing food to be stored for long periods of time without refrigeration while retaining almost 100% of its nutritional value.

Image of freeze-dried foods:
http://www.nasa.gov/centers/johnson/slsd/about/divisions/hefd/laboratories/jsc2008e038829_Freeze-Dried.html


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PostPosted: April 27th, 2014, 1:39 pm 
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Location: Baton Rouge, LA
Technology developed for unpiloted high-altitude aircraft actually spawned very advanced solar cells. A coalition comprised of private industry, university researchers, non-profit organizations and NASA created solar energy equipment that is both high-performance and economical. This equipment is now reducing utility costs and pollution.

Louisiana Solar Energy Society:
http://www.lses.org/


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PostPosted: May 13th, 2014, 1:46 pm 
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There is an innovative light bulb now on the market that is a direct descendant from the American space program. NASA's research in optics and eye protection yielded the bulb which concentrates more light on work surfaces. The chrome plating reflects light downward and increases illumination where it's needed by forty percent. The frosted finish of the bulb reduces glare.

More information:
http://www.nasa.gov/vision/earth/technologies/lightbulb.html


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PostPosted: June 8th, 2014, 6:10 pm 
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The American space program changed athletic shoe construction with "blow rubber molding", a process originally used in producing helmets. The innovation was applied to create hollow athletic shoe soles that could be filled with shock-absorbing materials.

More information:
http://www.nasa.gov/missions/science/f_apollo_11_spinoff.html


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PostPosted: July 4th, 2014, 8:30 pm 
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Engineering applications are taking advantage of a new material created with assistance from the American space program. The so-called "metallic glass" is lightweight and has twice the strength of titanium. Conditions required for manufacturing this material were identified during two Space Shuttle flight in the 1990s.

More information:
http://www.nasa.gov/vision/earth/everydaylife/real_glass.html


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PostPosted: July 12th, 2014, 4:21 pm 
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The material called "temper foam" was first developed by Ames Research Center to help protect test pilot during flight. In 1998 Tempur-Pedic produced its one millionth pillow to then-NASA Administrator Daniel Goldin. Goldin said "This NASA technology designed to protect astronauts and pilots is now being used to help the elderly, the disabled and hospital patients. NASA is deeply committed to transferring our unique knowledge to improve the quality of life for all Americans".

Temper foam is in the Space Foundation's Space Technology Hall of Fame.


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PostPosted: August 12th, 2014, 4:45 pm 
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Location: Baton Rouge, LA
Beginning the 1980s, NASA started creating a new type of partnership with private industry, to investigate the possible creation of fabrics that help keep the wearer at a moderate temperature--not too hot and not too cold. One company, Outlast Technologies, is in the Space Technology Hall of Fame. The company incorporates "microencapsulated phase change materials" into its products; these materials react to temperature fluctuations. There is also a spray process which allows the possibility of imparting some of these desirable traits to already existing apparel.

More information:
http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/413410main_PhaseChange.pdf


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