Space Technology Hall of Fame

The Space Technology Hall of Fame® increases public awareness of the benefits of space exploration and encourages further innovation by recognizing individuals, organizations and companies that effectively adapt and market technologies originally developed for space to improve the quality of life for all humanity.

Created in 1988, the Space Technology Hall of Fame® recognizes the life-changing technologies emerging from global space programs; honors the scientists, engineers and innovators responsible; and communicates to the public the importance of these technologies as a return on investment in space exploration.

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We work with U.S. and international space agency technology transfer offices to identify the most significant space innovations, and with panels of space and technology experts to select the most meaningful examples for induction. The ever-growing list of honorees showcases the significant contributions space makes to life on Earth.

To date, we have inducted dozens of technologies and honored hundreds of organizations and individuals who transformed space technology into commercial products that improve the quality of life for all humanity.

Do you know of a space-related technology that should be honored with our inductees?

“Ever since Tempur-Pedic was inducted in the Space Technology Hall of Fame in 1998 for adapting TEMPUR® Material from NASA technology, we’ve been focused on our mission of improving the sleep of people all around the world. Our long-standing relationship with the Space Foundation is part of Tempur-Pedic’s commitment to showing the world that we are relentless in the pursuit of innovation that fulfills our mission.”

- Allen Platek, VP of New Product Development, Tempur Sealy

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Space Technology Hall of Fame® Luncheon

The Space Technology Hall of Fame®  at Space Symposium provides a public forum for honoring inducted technologies, organizations and individuals. It includes formal recognition of the honorees, video coverage of the inducted technologies, a presentation by the corporate sponsor and a celebrity guest speaker.

Past speakers have included: Actor Sigourney Weaver, Author and futurist Mark Stevenson, author and satirist P.J. O'Rourke, actor Leonard Nimoy and astrophysicist Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson. Attendees include Space Symposium participants and honored guests from around the world.

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Space Technology Hall of Fame® Private Induction Ceremony

The Space Technology Hall of Fame® Private Induction Ceremony, which is held the final afternoon of the Space Symposium, serves as the official induction event for honored technologies, organizations and individuals.

Invited guests include current and past inductees, sponsors, the Space Technology Hall of Fame® Dinner guest speaker, Space Foundation executives and board members, astronauts and space leaders.

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Space Technology Hall of Fame® Cocktail Reception

Everyone is welcome to attend the Space Technology Hall of Fame® Cocktail Reception that immediately follows the private induction ceremony.

Featured Hall of Fame Inducted Technology

Original Astronaut Space Pen

If there is one model of space pens that single-handedly launched Fisher Space Pen into space, that would be the AG7 – Original Astronaut Space Pen. The creation of this pen took thousands of failed experiments, personal investment of hard-earned money, and a tad bit of “Mad Scientist” work-ethic to bring the first ever, pressurized…

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Protective Coating for Ceramic Materials

Researchers at Ames had devised a silicon-based compound as part of the development of the X-33 and X-34 prototype planes. These planes were projected to fly at 15 times the speed of sound. The friction from these super-sonic speeds would produce extremely high temperatures on the airplanes surface, so a protective coating was needed to…

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Apollo 70 Cardiac Care Monitoring System

Founded in 1958, Spacelabs Healthcare approached NASA with their concept of a real-time system for monitoring astronauts’ vital signs while in orbit, including a telemetry system to simultaneously transmit the data back to Earth. From 1962 to 1967, Spacelabs was awarded NASA and Air Force contracts to develop this system, which was first used by…

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Audio Conference Bridge Technology

Compunetix was founded in 1968 as a small contract-services technology provider. In 1987, they won a contract to deliver a digital voice switching system for NASA that would accommodate the agency’s wide range of communication needs. At the time, NASA’s communication network was an analog system requiring the manual switching of cables to relay communication…

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Traveling-Wave Tube Amplifier

First developed in the 1930s, Traveling-Wave Tube Amplifiers (TWTAs) were designed to amplify radio frequency signals. It was in the early 1960s that NASA and L3 teamed up to evolve the technology so it would meet the transmission needs of space missions. The first TWTA flew on a satellite in 1962, and they have been…

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SpiraFlex Interim Resistive Exercise Device (iRED)

Long stays in space, such as on the ISS, take a toll on the human body, as muscles atrophy and bones weaken and lose minerals. Astronauts have long used exercise equipment to help mitigate the effects of microgravity on their bodies. But as NASA astronaut Shannon Lucid found in 1996 after a six-month stay on…

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Ka-Band Software-Defined Radio (SDR)/Harris AppSTAR™ Architecture

Communication devices, such as smart phones and radios, rely on electromagnetic spectrum, particularly the “S-band” portion to transmit data. Given the growing use of these technologies, the S-band has become congested with many users. This is a challenge for space missions especially given the huge amounts of data that must be rapidly delivered to Earth…

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Improved Firefighter’s Breathing System

In the early 1970s, the Johnson Space Center (JSC) undertook to adapt and apply technology developed for portable life support used by Apollo astronauts on the moon in a significant effort to improve firefighter breathing systems. This effort was in response to a need expressed by many of the nation’s fire chiefs. What emerged four…

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Tempur Foam

The TEMPUR story begins in the late 1960s when NASA scientists and engineers were asked to develop a material to absorb the G-force pressure astronauts endure during lift-off and landing. They invented a unique formulation of viscoelastic material, with both high-energy absorption and soft, pressure-relieving properties. In the early 1970s, our Swedish founders – Mikael…

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Active Pixel Sensor

Since the 1970’s when charged coupled devices (CCD’s) were first developed, camera and video companies have been seeking to improve the technology. CCD’s provide good image quality, but they are expensive, power hungry, and with the required accessory chips, bulky. Recognizing the shortcomings of CCD technology, and with the continuing need for lightweight imaging systems…

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