The Space Technology Hall of Fame® comprises many extraordinary innovations - all derived from or significantly improved by space research or exploration. Learn about the inducted technologies and the innovators here. You can scroll through all the years or find something specific using the handy search bar above.
To nominate a technology, please download our Official Nomination Form or visit our Nominate a Technology page to learn more about the Space Technology Hall of Fame® selection criteria.
Based on technology developed to protect astronauts against extreme temperature fluctuations in space, Outlast Smart Fabric Technology fibers, fabrics and foams contain micro encapsulated phase change materials called Thermocules that absorb, store and release heat.
This patented technology is used in a range of consumer products such as active wear to provide a more comfortably stable temperature.
This Space Technology Hall of Fame technology inductee is also a Certified Space Technology (www.outlast.com).
To learn more about the Space Certification Program visit www.spaceconnection.org.
Fewer and fewer people now need eyeglasses or contact lenses thanks to laser vision correction surgery. Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis or LASIK is the most widely performed surgical procedure. It uses a laser and eye-tracking device to reshape the cornea and is based on technology used to assist spacecraft in delicate docking maneuvers. This enables LASIK to provide unmatched precision.
The cost of caring for the chronically ill continues to grow. In-home care is part of the solution, and statistics show significant patient health improvements through closer in-home monitoring. Cybernet's MedStar™ System allows health care professionals to remotely monitor patients, and evolved from research funded by NASA, the National Institute of Mental Health, and the Advanced Research Projects Agency. The research result was a miniature physiological monitoring device capable of collecting and analyzing a multitude of signals in real time, which also is used to monitor astronauts on the...
Responding to the need for higher efficiency solar cells, the Air Force Research Laboratory sponsored research and development efforts to produce high efficiency multi-junction space solar cells. MJ solar cell technology provides a direct replacement for lower efficiency single-junction cells. The end results are reduced space mission lifecycle costs, reduced customer costs for telecommunication, weather forecasting and many other services crucial to our daily lives on Earth.
In 1985 NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) began developing software to determine satellite orbits with pinpoint accuracy. This work led to the development of a sophisticated system that incorporates special GPS algorithms and now uses the Internet to deliver information enabling real-time positioning accurate to a few inches anywhere in the world for terrestrial users and for space-borne users in low Earth orbit. The Federal Aviation Administration has adopted JPL's software in their GPS-based navigation system to improve air travel safety for millions of travelers.
In 1977, Adam Kissiah, Jr., a hearing-impaired engineer working at the NASA Kennedy Space Center (KSC), patented technology that has been used in digital implantable hearing aids. He developed the technology using the skills and knowledge of electronic sensing systems, telemetry, and sounds and vibrations sensors he acquired during his work on the Space Shuttle program. Mr. Kissiah's invention was an important advancement over traditional analog hearing devices, which simply amplify the sound entering the ear.
These systems were insufficient for the profoundly deaf, so Mr. Kissiah described...
NASA requires efficient and lightweight valves for controlling thrusters in spacecrafts. While at Bell Aerospace in the 1960s, Eddie Sturman developed a very efficient valve control actuator that consumed little energy.
His work resulted in five patents and systems extensively used in the space program and probably was one of the energy-saving factors that enabled Apollo 13 to find the additional power it needed to return to Earth. Mr. Sturman saw many non-aerospace uses for the technology and formed Sturman Industries in 1989 to develop commercial applications from Space to Earth. One of...
Nations throughout the world have a need for low-cost, easy to use demining devices to disarm the millions of landmines deployed in widely scattered locations. Though it is possible to render landmines safe through remote detonation or behind armored plating, these methods are expensive and difficult. The Navy and DE Technologies Inc. theorized that landmines could be safely rendered inoperable if the energetic explosive inside was allowed to burn in the open atmosphere.
ATK Thiokol innovators believed they could direct the combustion products of burning solid rocket propellant, which burns...
In the 1980s, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) initiated a major effort to develop solid-state microwave integrated circuits to replace the tubes, cavities and discrete devices used in microwave radar and telecommunication systems. New advances in semiconductor materials and processing enabled the development of Monolithic Microwave Integrated Circuit (MMIC) Technology.
Under a DARPA contract, Northrop Grumman Corporation (formerly TRW) successfully produced Gallium Arsenide (GaAs) MMICs using not only High Electron Mobility Transistors (HEMT) but also the first...
NASA is always seeking ways to enhance its understanding of great masses of data, such as fluid flow around air- and space-craft surfaces. Visual 3-D representations are particularly useful to analyze such data. However, a disadvantage of most 3-D systems is that they require the user to wear special glasses. NASA sought the development of a 3-D display that could eliminate that requirement.
Dimension Technologies Inc. (DTI) submitted and won Phase I and II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) awards from NASA Ames Research Center to develop a 3-D display. DTI was successful in creating...