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Spinoff Year

Apollo Spinoffs

With the success of the Apollo program, NASA delivered great progress in the fields of rocketry and aeronautics, as well as the fields of civil, mechanical, and electrical engineering. Lesser known accomplishments are some of the many spinoffs that came from the Apollo program—partnerships created between NASA and industry to commercialize the technologies developed for the historic missions to the Moon.

Cool suit worn by race car drive

Cooling Suits Provide Comfort
Cool suits, which kept Apollo astronauts comfortable during moon walks, are today worn by race car drivers, nuclear reactor technicians, shipyard workers, people with multiple sclerosis and children with a congenital disorder known as hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia, which restricts the body’s ability to cool itself.
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Kidney dialysis machine

Recycling Fluids for Space Missions Simplifies Kidney Dialysis
Special kidney dialysis machines were created as a result of a NASA-developed chemical process that removes toxic waste from used dialysis fluid. The process saves electricity and eliminates the need for a continuous water supply, granting the patient greater freedom.
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cardiovascular conditioner

Astronaut Conditioning Equipment Keeps People Fit
A cardiovascular conditioner developed for astronauts in space led to the invention of a physical therapy and athletic development machine used by football teams, sports clinics, and medical rehabilitation centers.
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Athletic shoe design

Space Suit Technology Modernizes Athletic Shoes
Athletic shoe design and manufacturing also benefited from Apollo. Space suit technology is incorporated into a shoe's external shell, and a stress-free "blow molding" process adapted from NASA space suit design is used in the shoe's fabrication.
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Insulation barriers

Reflective Materials Insulate Homes
Insulating barriers made of metalized foil laid over a core of propylene or mylar, which protected astronauts and their spacecraft's delicate instruments from radiation and heat, are now found in common home insulation. Vacuum metalizing techniques also led to an extensive line of commercial products, from insulated outer garments to packaging for foods, from wall coverings to window shades, from life rafts to candy wrappings, and from reflective safety blankets to photographic reflectors.
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Water purification technology

Apollo Life Support Systems Filter Water
Water purification technology used on the Apollo spacecraft is now employed in several spinoff applications to kill bacteria, viruses and algae in community water supply systems and cooling towers. Filters mounted on faucets reduce lead in water supplies.
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Freeze-dried food

Freeze-Dried Foods Preserve Nutrients, Increase Shelf Life
Freeze-dried food solved the problem of what to feed an astronaut on the long-duration Apollo missions. Freeze drying foods preserves nutritional value and taste, while also reducing weight and increasing shelf life.
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hospital food service system

Apollo-era Circuitry Preserves Freshness for Large-Scale Service
A hospital food service system employs a NASA cook/chill concept for serving food. The system allows staff to prepare food well in advance, maintain heat, visual appeal, and nutritional value while reducing operating costs.
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retroreflector that reflects light

Measurement Techniques Safely Monitor Hazardous Gasses
A hollow retroreflector, a mirror-like instrument that reflects light and other radiation back to the source, is used as a sensor to detect the presence of hazardous gases in oil fields, refineries, offshore platforms, chemical plants, waste storage sites, and other locations where gases could be released into the environment.
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bonding dry lubricant

Lubricant Process Finds Myriad Applications
A process for bonding dry lubricant to space metals led to the development of surface enhancement, or synergistic, coatings, which are used in applications from pizza making to laser manufacturing. Each coating is designed to protect a specific metal group or group of metals to solve problems encountered under operating conditions, such as resistance to corrosion and wear.
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Green Building Employ Space Suit Textiles

Green Buildings Employ Space Suit Textiles
The same fabric used in Apollo-era space suits has been spun off into a cost-effective, environmentally-friendly building material. Used on structures around the world, the Teflon-coated fiberglass strands create a permanent, tent-like roof. Less expensive than conventional roofing materials, the durable white fabric allows natural light to shine through, saving a significant amount of energy.
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Insulation Protects Alaskan Pipeline
Metal-bonded polyurethane foam insulation developed for protecting Apollo-era spacecraft was also applied to the Alaskan pipeline, where its temperature controlling properties were in high demand. In order to maintain its fluidity, the oil needs to be kept at relatively high temperatures (180 °F), a tall order in the Arctic. The NASA-derived insulation solved this problem.
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Flame-Resistant Textiles Safeguard Firefighters, Soldiers
After a fire on the Apollo launch pad which resulted in the death of three astronauts, NASA worked with private industry to develop a line of fire-resistant textiles for use in space suits and vehicles. These materials are now used in numerous firefighting, military, motor sports, and other applications.
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NASA log - Link Office of the Chief Technologist Image of cover Spinoff 2010 NASA Hallmarks of success videos