From the Editor: I'm checking an item off my bucket list today. I'm taking a tour behind the scenes at the NASA Ames Research Center, meeting scientists, engineers, and some of the nation’s top minds. (That will be a series of educational tech articles to come.) Thanks to a contest that is sponsored by Littelfuse, you can have a chance to make the same trip on October 24 of this year! Sign up now and check this off your bucket list, too.
NASA Ames's main goal now is to transfer technology for commercialization and the betterment of mankind. However, over the years, government and popular support for further space exploration has dwindled, despite its many benefits. So, I’ve made a list of the top reasons we should continue to explore the outer depths, "to boldly go where no man has gone before."
Click on the photo below to start the slideshow, and scroll down for some cool videos!
The Space Portal
The Space Portal at the NASA Ames Research Center was organized to help accelerate
the establishment of the new space economy by:
Developing mutually beneficial partnerships among industry, universities, nonprofits, and government
Serving as the catalyst between NASA and entrepreneurial space organizations to promote
commercial space development
Organizing and executing pioneering developments and demonstrations that open new markets
Supporting space activities that benefit the public
Promoting increased demand for space exploration
Acting as the “friendly front door,” the Space Portal will help make NASA space infrastructure
available for commercial development
Mining for gold in space: Planetary Resources Inc. has surpassed $1.5 million via crowdfunding on Kickstarter, and Sir Richard Branson has joined as an investor. Asteroids are filled with precious resources we have squandered on Earth. See the video below:
NASA Ames NextGen air transportation: Our air traffic system is overloaded, and NASA Ames Research Center has an advanced airspace modeling and simulation set of tools to help with this problem. By working with the FAA, NASA can be a major partner in helping to model and simulate the national airspace system. Watch this video, courtesy of NASA, regarding SARDA:
Artificial limbs: NASA innovations in robotics and shock absorption/comfort materials in space have inspired the private sector to create solutions for human and animal prostheses. A prime example is Environmental Robots Inc. and its development of artificial muscle systems with robotic sensing and actuation capabilities for NASA robotic and extravehicular activities. Check out this video courtesy of Environmental Robots:
Pollution remediation: Man’s quest for more energy and higher profits for fuel have consequences for our environment. NASA’s microencapsulating technology led to the development of the Petroleum Remediation Product (PRP) that enables industry to safely and permanently clean petroleum-based pollutants from water. Tiny balls of beeswax with hollow centers prevent water from penetrating the microcapsule shell, but oil is absorbed right into the beeswax spheres as they float on the surface of the water before they settle, thereby limiting damage to ocean beds and life. Here is a video by Universal Remediation Inc.: