SafeguardingYou andthe Environment
Technologies guarding astronauts on the Moon now protectyou and the environment on Earth.
Astronaut flight suitsfighting fires on Earth
Fire hazards are muchgreater in atmospherescontaining a high percentageof oxygen under pressure.After the 1967 Apollo fire,NASAneeded to find newways to protect astronautsand their vessels. TheMonsanto Companydeveloped a chemicallytreated fabric calledDurette that does not burn.ANational Bureau of Standards/NASAprojectresulted in a lightweightbreathing system includingfacemask, frame, harness and air bottle marketed by ScottAviation. Aluminum composite material was used to reducethe weight of the overall apparatus, and the frame andharness were designed to be much easier to put on and takeoff. Today nearly every major manufacturer of breathingapparatus incorporates NASAtechnology in some form,helping to reduce the incidence of inhalation-related injuries.
Safety in security systems
Technology developed by NASAled to an intruder detectorthat helps prevent burglaries. Before prowlers can break in,vibration-sensing detectors pick up movements of anyonewithin range and relay warnings to portable radio receiversthat alert guards or residents. Encased in a stainless steeltube, the detectors are implanted in the ground outside thefacility being protected - home, bank, industrial complex orother facility.
Solar Panels: morepower, less pollution
Innovations developedwith technology fromNASA’s Apollo lunarmodule program hascreated a renewableenergy resource used onEarth and in space. Solarpanels collect electricityby absorbing light when itstrikes the surface andtransfers it to a semiconductor. These solar panels are usedon calculators, street lights, houses and on the InternationalSpace Station. The solar array surface area currently on orbitis 9,600 square feet, nearly half (40%) the size of a footballfield (24,480 square feet). The skyscraper-sized solar arraysharness energy from the sun to power the Space Station.
NASA’s silver ion technology has been used to create anautomatic pool purifier. Caribbean Clear Inc. system offersan alternative to chemicals, such as chlorine and bromine.Purifiers use silverions, as used inApollo PurificationSystems, to killbacteria, copper ionsand algae. Theyproduce spa or poolwater that exceedsEPAStandardsfor drinking water.
Apollo innovation shakes up seismology
Through a contract with NASA, Wyle-3S built anenormously forceful shock and vibration system to simulateliftoff stresses on the launch pad. In addition to earthquaketesting, the company has adapted its shaking technology toevaluate railway cars, rail- or road-transported cargo, truck refrigeration units and highway pavements withoutdestroying or harming its surroundings.
Medical Marvels from the Moon
Apollo-based technologies launched major medicalbreakthroughs on Earth.
NASA’s Apollotechnology was usedby Medrad to developthe AID implantableautomatic pulsegenerator, whichmonitors the heartcontinuously,recognizes the onsetof a heart attack anddelivers a correctiveelectrical shock. Thepulse generator is, in effect, a miniaturized version of the defibrillator used by emergency squads and hospitalsto restore rhythmic heartbeat after fibrillation. Onceimplanted, it needs no specially trained personnel oradditional equipment and consists of a microcomputer,a power source and two electrodes that sense heartactivity.