Space Foundation Press Releases

Space Foundation Announces 2003 Space Technology Hall of Fame Inductees

Written by: Space Foundation Editorial Team

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Mar. 3, 2003) — The Space Foundation announced today the selection of the largest group of inductees in the 15-year history of the Space Technology Hall of Fame. This year’s Hall of Fame space technologies run the gamut-from a medical implant that helps thousands of Americans hear better to a humanitarian device for disarming mine fields. The six technologies being inducted this year are Cochlear Implant, Digital Latching Valve, Humanitarian Demining Device, Monolithic Microwave Integrated Circuit Technology (MMIC), Virtual Window, and VisiScreen (Ocular Screening System). Each brings to Earth a different life-enhancing benefit from space technology. The addition of these six technologies brings the number of inducted technologies to 44. The Space Foundation will honor the technologies and innovators during the Space Technology Hall of Fame 15th Anniversary Awards Dinner on April 10, attended by nearly 1,100 senior space leaders and guests. The awards dinner, co-sponsored by Northrop Grumman Space Technology, is the closing ceremony for the 19th National Space Symposium at The Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs, scheduled April 7-10. Dr. Ronald Sugar, Northrop Grumman President and Chief Executive Officer, will be the evening’s corporate host with special guest presenter Vice Adm. Richard Truly, USN (Ret), director, National Renewable Energy Lab and former NASA Astronaut and Administrator. The Space Foundation, in cooperation with NASA, established the Space Technology Hall of Fame in 1988 to honor the innovators who have transformed space technology into commercial products, to increase public awareness of the benefits of space spin-off technology, and to encourage further innovation. The 2003 Space Technology Hall of Fame Inductees: Cochlear Implant: Adam Kissiah, Jr., a retired NASA engineer from the Kennedy Space Center, applied the skills and knowledge he acquired from his work on the Space Shuttle program to develop some basic technology used in cochlear implant hearing systems. The Cochlear Implant Association estimates over 66,000 patients have received an implant in this multi-billion dollar industry. Digital Latching Valve: While an engineer at Bell Aerospace, Eddie Sturman developed a very efficient valve for controlling thrusters in spacecrafts. Today his company, Sturman Industries, uses related technology to make commercial diesel engines operate more efficiently, reducing fuel consumption and pollution. Humanitarian Demining Device: 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 Propulsion has developed a low cost, flare-like device that uses excess Space Shuttle solid rocket propellant to address this humanitarian need and safely disarm landmines. Monolithic Microwave Integrated Circuit Technology (MMIC): With Department of Defense support, Northrop Grumman developed the revolutionary MMIC technology used in space-based advanced telecommunications systems. Significant commercial applications of MMIC technology include its use in cellular phones, in critical components of high-speed telecommunication systems, and in automotive collision warning systems. Virtual Window: Responding to NASA’s need to understand vast amounts of data such as fluid flow around air- and space-craft surfaces, Dimension Technologies Inc. created Virtual Window-the first Liquid Crystal Display that provides true 3-D images without the need for special glasses. The display, which can instantly switch from 2-D to 3-D, is used commercially for computer games, protein analysis, surgical imaging, and numerous other applications. VisiScreen (Ocular Screening System): Using photorefractive optics technology and experience developed in the Landsat and Skylab Space Telescope programs, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center innovators created an apparatus for detecting human eye defects. Vision Research Corporation transformed the technology into an ocular screening system called VisiScreen, which is used in pediatric offices and health clinics throughout the United States to examine children’s eyes quickly and effectively. Widely regarded as the premier conference for space professionals anywhere in the world, the National Space Symposium is the only space-related conference to integrate fully all sectors of space-commercial, civil and national security-while attracting the most important and influential speakers and the national leadership of the space industry. The 19th National Space Symposium’s opening ceremony is co-sponsored by Northrop Grumman Corporation; the exhibit center is sponsored by The Boeing Company; the media center and Space Career Fair for College Students Luncheon are both sponsored by Lockheed Martin Corporation; the Corporate Partnership Dinner is co-sponsored by Ball Aerospace & Technologies, Corp.; and the cyberspace center is sponsored by Oracle Corporation. Additional sponsors include Analytical Graphics, Inc., BAE Systems, Computer Sciences Corporation, Eastman Kodak Company, General Dynamics, Harris Corporation, Holland and Hart, Infinite Links, ITT Industries, ManTech, MicroSat Systems, Inc., Penwal Industries, Space News/, SpaceVest, Stellar Solutions and Veridian. The Space Foundation, headquartered in Colorado Springs, is a national non-profit organization whose mission is to vigorously advance and support civil, commercial and national security space endeavors and educational excellence. For a list of individual inductees or for more information about the Space Foundation and the Space Technology Hall of Fame, visit Note to editors: Reporters requiring additional information and contacts for selected technologies can contact Stephanie Schierholz ([email protected]).