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3/18/2013
05:10 PM
Elena Malykhina
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10 Space Technologies That Help On Earth

NASA nurtured many innovations, from a portable communications system to an ultrasound machine for telemedicine, that have made the leap from space to Earth.
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NASA partnered with startup Aspen Systems to produce aerogel composite blankets for use in space applications, such as on launch towers and inside shuttles, as an alternative to silica aerogels, which can be expensive and brittle. Aspen Aerogels created three variations of flexible aerogels, now used for construction, refrigeration, automotive, medical, commercial and industrial purposes. Examples of commercial products built with them are home insulation and insoles for endurance runners. Flexible aerogels were inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2012. Image credit: NASA

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John Foley
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John Foley,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/19/2013 | 6:57:18 PM
re: 10 Space Technologies That Help On Earth
The inflatable satellite communication system is pretty cool. It enables geosat communications from remote corners of the world and has apparently been used by the US military in Afghanistan. When inflated, the antenna "ball" is about 8 feet tall, but when deflated, it fits into a small suitcase that can be checked as airline luggage. And "Alien" fans take note -- Sigourney Weaver is featured speaker at the Hall of Fame dinner.
Leo Regulus
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Leo Regulus,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/20/2013 | 2:47:18 PM
re: 10 Space Technologies That Help On Earth
Information Week only had one important New Year's Resolution this year. '"No Slide Show Articles with out a prominent 'View-as-one-page' link." How's that working out for you so far?
Tom LaSusa
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Tom LaSusa,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/20/2013 | 3:14:35 PM
re: 10 Space Technologies That Help On Earth
You really seem upset about this Leo. ;-)

Tom LaSusa
InformationWeek Community Manager
jc
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jc,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/20/2013 | 6:25:42 PM
re: 10 Space Technologies That Help On Earth
Great stuff! I just wish the Eagle Eye sunglasses could be used with a prescription.
Cara Latham
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Cara Latham,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/21/2013 | 1:20:47 PM
re: 10 Space Technologies That Help On Earth
The most interesting to me are the UVA-filtering lenses and the earth imaging technology. I think if further research allows the UVA-filtering lenses to be compatible with prescriptions, it could be immediately beneficial to the public at large. Additionally, I hope further developments with earth imaging technology can be more helpful in preparing the public for catastrophes like hurricanes and tsunamis.
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