NASA Spinoff Tech You Have Used

Did you know that one degree celsius difference in temperature between your right and left leg means you may have sensory nerve damage in your lower back? Did you know a hot spot on your skin, or inside your body, could mean an infection or an inflammatory disease? Detected cold spots often mean poor blood supply. How do we determine these temperatures? Infrared technologies owe much to NASA sponsored research. Yes, we’re talking about more NASA spinoff technology. This is spinoff tech you have used in your home or in a medical facility. What is Infrared Infrared Radiation (IR) is invisible to most humans. Also infrared light, it is electromagnetic radiation (EMR) with wavelengths longer than those of visible light. German-born British astronomer, Sir William Herschel discovered infrared radiation on February 11, 1800 when he observed its effect on a thermometer. The first experiments with infrared occurred during WWII. German engineers attempted to create heat-seeking missiles and proximity fuses. The war ended before they could. Many countries experimented with thermal detectors of IR. Thermocouples and bolometers are two such devices still used today. NASA developed IR scanners for detecting objects in space. That led to an entire array of other uses for infrared detection. Ear or […]

Is There an Awesome NASA Spinoff in Your Home?

Have you heard of NASA Spinoffs? When Congress established NASA in 1958, it required the space agency to share information about its discoveries. They also gave NASA the go-ahead to patent inventions and help businesses develop commercial uses for them. The results are amazing. Thousands of devices started because of research for space vehicles or exploration. Is there an awesome NASA Spinoff in your home? Maybe. Spinoffs Since 1976, NASA has published Spinoff https://spinoff.nasa.gov/ a publication that features an average of 50 of these technologies. Technologies that range from ear thermometers to Ventricular assist devices to water purification systems and much more. Research for cutting-edge technologies often takes years and many, many dollars. Small businesses often could invest the time but rarely had the funds. In the 1980s, the Small Business Administration began a funding project to promote development of innovative technologies. Their idea was that both government agencies and private industry would benefit from the research and development. Small businesses apply for funds, then develop technology that’s of interest to NASA. The small company can then use what they learned to develop products for their company. It’s a win-win. And boy have we won some cool tech. One such […]

An Inspiring Woman In Space And On The Ground

From last week’s strong Mohawk woman of the revolutionary war era we’re coming forward hundreds of years. This week’s Women’s History Month spotlight is on an inspiring woman in space and on the ground, Ellen Ochoa. Ms. Ochoa, a Hispanic-American Woman, made history in our lifetime. Engineer, inventor, astronaut, and administrator, she is a champion of and for women. “We do a disservice to society as a whole, if we are not providing the same kinds of encouragement to women to contribute as we do to men.” – Ellen Ochoa Early Life Ochoa’s paternal grandparents immigrated from Sonora, Mexico to Arizona. They later moved to California where Ochoa’s father, Joseph, was born. Ellen Ochoa was born May 10, 1958 in Los Angeles, California, U.S. Her parents were Joseph and Rosanne (née Deardorf) Ochoa. She loved math and science in school, even if other kids looked down on her for that. She played the flute and wanted to be a musician. Like many of us, she watched the moon landing. She was eleven. It never occurred to her to want to be an astronaut. There were no female astronauts then. Education Ochoa’s parents divorced while she attended  Grossmont High School in El Cajon. She graduated […]