Since its inception 40 years ago, NASA’s Technology Transfer Program has led the way for our Nation to benefit from cutting-edge aerospace technologies. In addition to contributing to U.S. economic growth, these technologies are improving the quality of life on Earth while finding new ways to protect and preserve it. NASA’s research and development efforts have advanced areas in medicine, communications, manufacturing, computer technology, and homeland security. These breakthroughs, translated into commercial products, are enhancing the lives of Americans everywhere.

When a congressional mandate led NASA to develop the Scientific and Technical Information (STI) Program, the Agency began a wide dissemination of its research and development results. In doing so, NASA recognized that many of its technologies were transferable to industry for the development of commercial products. As a result, the Technology Utilization Program was born in 1962. The successful program went through several changes over the years, as its philosophy, mission, and goals adapted into the Technology Transfer Program we know today. The program strives to make the latest technologies available to industry as soon as they are developed.

Each year, NASA’s Spinoff publication showcases new products and services resulting from commercial partnerships between NASA and private industry. In the 2002 issue, the NASA field centers reflect upon the growth that has made these innovations available to the public. The Research and Development section examines past achievements, current successes, and future goals for each of the 10 centers. The Commercial Benefits section proudly highlights 51 new spinoff products, including a heart pump for patients needing a heart transplant, as well as an air purifier that destroys anthrax spores. The Technology Transfer and Outreach section describes the outreach achievements and educational successes made possible through the NASA Commercial Technology Network. Each section of Spinoff 2002 provides compelling evidence of the Technology Transfer Program’s success and value.

With commercial products and successes spanning from work on the Apollo missions to the International Space Station, the 40th anniversary of the Technology Transfer Program invites us to celebrate our history while planning the future. I am proud to present the Spinoff 2002 commemorative issue as a testament to the benefits of NASA’s partnerships with U.S. industry.

Dr. Robert L. Norwood
Director, Commercial Technology Division
National Aeronautics and Space Administration

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