A plant texts a farmer to say it needs more water. An invisible coating scrubs pollutants from the air. A robot roams a hospital’s halls, aiding doctors and nurses by recording vital signs and registrations. The 2012 edition of NASA’s annual Spinoff publication captures a nation and world made better by advancements originally achieved for space technology.
Spinoff 2012 offers a close-up look at how NASA’s initiatives in aeronautics and space exploration have resulted in commercial technologies with benefits across the economy: health and medicine, transportation, public safety, consumer goods, energy and environment, information technology and industrial productivity.
“It’s part of NASA’s mission to ensure the results of our research and development benefit all of society,” NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said. “Spinoff 2012 documents the amazing stories that have come about from NASA technologies being adapted for uses here on Earth.”
These advancements improve and save thousands of lives. NASA spinoffs also contribute to economic growth by generating billions of dollars in revenues and creating thousands of new jobs. In addition, NASA’s breadth of vision and its record of groundbreaking innovation inspire young people to pursue careers in the science, technology, engineering and math fields.
“Every spinoff is a tangible reminder of NASA’s return on investment to the taxpayer,” NASA Chief Technologist Mason Peck said. “Whether we’re developing technology to explore space or advance the nation’s aeronautics capabilities, great ideas from NASA have a way of returning real benefits back to individuals, industries and our new technology economy here on our home planet, today.”
In Spinoff 2012, readers can discover:
- A satellite tracking system pioneered by NASA that has helped rescue more than 30,000 people in distress all over the world.
- An X-ray fluorescence scanner that detects the elemental composition of an object and is frequently used by museums to authenticate works of art.
- An open source platform co-developed by NASA that has spurred enormous growth in the cloud computing industry.
- A plug-and-play research platform that facilitates experiments carried out in microgravity on the International Space Station for customers ranging from high schools and universities to pharmaceutical organizations around the globe.
The 2012 edition of NASA’s flagship technology publication also includes a special section on spinoffs in manufacturing. Together, NASA and its partners have commercialized more than 350 documented spinoffs relating to industrial productivity and manufacturing, from advanced construction tools to industry-launching innovations in new materials.
Profiles of NASA’s research and development activities, education efforts and partnership successes for the year also are featured in Spinoff 2012.
Spinoff 2012 is available online at http://spinoff.nasa.gov.