The 2020 edition of NASA’s Spinoff Report – see https://spinoff.nasa.gov – highlights companies and sectors that have benefited from cooperation with NASA.
Whether it’s upgrading air traffic control software or honing the food safety practices that keep dinner tables safe, NASA has worked for more than six decades to ensure its innovations benefit people on Earth. One of the agency’s side-effects is the way investment in NASA pays dividends throughout the global economy.
This year’s Spinoff Report details how NASA’s support for small businesses has paid off with safer hip replacements, more efficient supercomputer coolers, and even better water bottles (see page 46). It also looks into how efforts to keep astronauts’ food safe on the way to the Moon have drastically reduced the incidence of food-borne illness around the world (see page 58). And finally, it lays out how years of air traffic research helped shape software that enables airports to track airplanes, predict weather impacts, and find alternative flight paths (see page 11).
“Whether working to send the first woman and next man to the Moon or helping improve the technology that carries passengers from Portland, Maine, to Portland, Oregon, NASA innovators are constantly creating new technology,” said Jim Reuter, associate administrator of the agency’s Space Technology Mission Directorate in Washington. “Often these advances have wide-ranging benefits well beyond the need they were first imagined to meet. Telling the public that story is one way we fulfill our mission to find homes for the technology beyond the agency for maximum benefit.”