This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
April 15, 1993 (Phone: 202/358-1757) Catharine Schauer Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va. (Phone: 804/864-6122) RELEASE: 93-069 NASA SPACE SUIT AND MEDICAL TECHNOLOGIES HONORED NASA technology, developed to keep astronauts cool on the lunar surface, and a NASA patient-monitoring device, originally designed for astronaut heart rate transmittal, tomorrow are being inducted into the U.S. Space Foundation's Technology Hall of Fame. The ceremonies are part of the Foundation's annual convention in Colorado Springs, Colo. The honors will be accepted by John Samos, former head of the technology transfer office at NASA's Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va., and Thayer Sheets, a technology transfer specialist at the time of the transfers to industry. NASA Administrator Daniel S. Goldin will be the keynote speaker at the banquet. Liquid-cooled garments Through the efforts of Langley and a national charitable organization, the liquid-cooled garments used by astronauts were transformed into cool suits used for medical applications. The original garments were worn inside space suits to maintain body temperature at comfortable levels. A battery-powered pump circulated water through tubes in the suit and through a chiller mechanism in the suit backpack. Work which led to this approach was originally done at NASA's Ames Research
Center, Mountain View, Calif., and at the then Manned Spacecraft Center (now Johnson Space Center), Houston. Langley adapted the technology to meet medical needs. Now it is used for patients suffering from multiple sclerosis and related neurologic disorders, cystic fibrosis, and hypohidrotic extodermal dyspiasia (HED), a condition where the victim has no sweat glands. - more -2Through the efforts of the HED Foundation and its founder, Sarah Moody, and NASA Langley staff, 108 of the cooling suits have been donated to children without sweat glands. In addition, about 300 suits have been sold to multiple sclerosis patients since 1991. The U.S. Army used 400 liquid-cooled garments for personnel during the Persian Gulf conflict, and the suits are used by race car drivers, hazardous materials handlers, nuclear reactor workers, and paper mill and shipyard personnel. The technology spinoff has created a multi-million-dollar industry. Patient Monitoring Device The patient monitoring device was first developed by the Sierra Research Corp., under sponsorship of the U.S. Air Force and Army. It was later adopted and improved upon by NASA. The monitoring technology enabled the transmission of information about the wearer's physiological condition from a remote site to a medical center. In the case of NASA, it is used to transmit astronaut heart rate and breathing rates. This system is still in use for astronaut monitoring but has expanded in scope to include the remote transmittal of patient information from locations around the planet. With the technology, heart patients can return to their own homes but still be monitored by nurses at a hospital. For more than 30 years, NASA's Technology Utilization Program has actively encouraged the secondary, or spinoff, application of technology originally developed for aerospace purposes. During
this 3-decade period more than 30,000 aerospace innovations have found their way into common use. Collectively, these spinoffs represent a substantial return on the aerospace investment in terms of economic gain, lifestyle enhancement and solutions to problems of general public concern . Since 1988, the U.S. Space Foundation has selected space technologies that have made significant social and economic impact for inclusion in their Space Hall of Fame. Currently, there are 14 other technologies listed in the Hall. - end -