Space Foundation Press Releases

NASA Technologies headed for the Space Technology Hall of Fame

Written by: Space Foundation Editorial Team

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Feb. 25, 2004) — The Space Foundation today announced the selection of four `down to earth` technologies for induction into the Space Technology Hall of Fame. Three were spawned by NASA efforts, and the fourth by the work of the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory. The 2004 Hall of Fame winners range from a medical technology that enables thousands of people to see better to software able to determine satellite orbits with pinpoint accuracy. The four products incorporating space-based technologies being inducted this year are LADARVision 4000 (LASIK eye surgery), the MedStar Medical/Health Monitoring System, Precision GPS (Global Positioning System) Software System, and Multi-Junction (MJ) Space Solar Cells. Each brings to Earth a different life-enhancing benefit from space technology. “For 16 years, the Space Foundation has honored extraordinary space technologies that enhance the quality of life on earth through its Space Technology Hall of Fame program,” said NASA Administrator Sean O’Keefe. “The 2004 Hall of Fame honorees are a shining example of how the exploration of space returns incredible and sometimes unexpected benefits for all of us on earth.” Space Foundation President & Chief Executive Officer Elliot G. Pulham said, “Our 2004 honorees represent space technologies that save lives, enable thousands of people to see better, power modern global telecommunications and make travel safer for millions. They are great examples of why what we do in space matters on earth.” The inducted technologies and innovators will be honored at the 16th Space Technology Hall of Fame Dinner, to be held April 1 at The Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs, Colo. The awards dinner, co-sponsored by The Boeing Company, is the capstone event of the 20th National Space Symposium, March 29-April 1. Jim Albaugh, President & Chief Executive Officer, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems, will be the evening’s corporate host. 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 technology, and to encourage further innovation. The 2004 Space Technology Hall of Fame Inductees are: LADARVision 4000: 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. MedStar Monitoring System: 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(tm) 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 International Space Station. Precision Global Positioning System (GPS) Software System: 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. Multi-Junction (MJ) Space Solar Cells: 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.