The latest issue of NASA’s Spinoff publication features dozens of NASA innovations improving life on Earth. From precision GPS to batteries for one of the world’s first commercial all-electric airplanes, NASA technology turns up in nearly every corner of modern life. The latest edition of NASA’s Spinoff publication features dozens of commercial technologies that were developed or improved by the agency’s space program and benefit people everywhere.
“Some of NASA’s most widespread spinoffs have come from its most memorable missions—such as the Apollo Program that first put astronauts on the Moon,” Says Jim Bridenstine, National Aeronautics and Space Administration Administrator. “These include cordless power tools, freeze-dried food, flame-resistant firefighter gear, the integrated circuit that gave rise to the microchip, and thin, lightweight insulations. Among the most surprising were perhaps improvements to kidney dialysis, a lightning detector, and automated credit card transactions.”
Every year, Spinoff highlights dozens of technologies with roots in NASA missions that now improve everything from surgical tools to aircraft to the clothes we wear. The companies featured in this year’s publication span a broad range of industries and geographic locations, showing the diverse benefits our Nation enjoys from its investment in aeronautics and space missions.
In this issue of Spinoff, the agency shares new stories of how the world has come to rely on GPS signal correction software created by NASA, which enables precision agriculture, airplane navigation, smartphones, offshore oil drilling, Earth science and much more; NASA’s work to push the envelope of flight resulted in advanced battery packs that power one of the first commercial all-electric airplanes; a lightweight, high-pressure tank NASA invented to hold rocket fuel now stores life-saving oxygen to keep pilots, firefighters and intensive care patients breathing — not to mention gases that power city buses and even paintball guns.
Over the decades, NASA spinoffs have saved tens of thousands of lives, generated tens of thousands of new jobs, created billions of dollars in revenue, and saved billions more in costs.
“The variety and complexity of NASA’s missions drive innovations in virtually every field of technology,” said Daniel Lockney, executive of NASA’s Technology Transfer program. “The result is that there’s not an industry or business out there that can’t make use of our groundbreaking work.”
The publication also includes a “Spinoffs of Tomorrow” section that showcases 20 new NASA technologies available for license. One innovation on the list uses new materials to literally reinvent the wheel. The superelastic tires were inspired by the Apollo era and developed for future exploration of the Moon and Mars. The technology could find another purpose on Earth.
Since 1976, Spinoff has annually profiled an average of 50 commercial technologies with origins in NASA missions and research. Issues of Spinoff published since 1996 can be read online in HTML or downloaded in PDF. Scanned copies of Spinoff are available in PDF for issues published between 1976 and 1995. Print and digital versions of the latest issue of Spinoff are available free of charge at: https://spinoff.nasa.gov/Spinoff2019/index.html