Saturday, January 23, 2010

Made in NASA - JSC Advance

Saturday, January 23, 2010
Last weekend my family and I ran in the Houston ½ Marathon and 5k. It was a perfect weekend for a great race and Houston has a great Expo where you can find a bunch of neat gadgets. My daughter, who loves jewelry of any kind, was fascinated by this one booth that was selling a bracelet that was suppose to help increase your balance strength and agility.I was for the most part ignoring the sales pitch until they said that the secret to their bracelet was the holographic technology developed by NASA and my daughter shot me a questioning, but knowing glance, “Really?” Then she saw the look in my eyes that told her, “Of course not.” But it got me thinking about how much is associated with NASA and how much is not known about the true technology that comes from NASA.

We are lucky enough to have within our Advanced Planning Office the responsibility for transferring technology from the Johnson Space Center to the external community. So I get to see examples of the real technology that benefits the public as a direct result from our efforts to explore space. Oh, and for the record Tang, Velcro and Teflon did not come from NASA. Each year NASA’s Innovative Partnership program publishes the Spinoff magazine which captures those innovations that have found their way into the public domain. One of my favorites is the Shuttle Fuel Pump Technology that Helps Children's Hearts. “Not much larger than a penlight battery, the pump is the result of two decades of NASA collaboration with famed heart surgeon Dr. Michael DeBakey.” I for one would rather be associated with technology that is saving children than Velcro.Of course being a strategist I am looking forward to the future innovations that result from NASA reaching beyond Low Earth Orbit.Also the medical advances that will come from the International Space Station like the new methods for delivering medicine to cancer cells. Or personally, to help with my commute to work, I’m looking forward to the Jetson’s flying car.

So take a look at the history of NASA’s spinoff’s and let me know which is your favorite or let me know what spinoff you would like to see in the future.


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