NASA Announces Space Invention Awards - InformationWeek
Government // Leadership
01:32 PM

NASA Announces Space Invention Awards

Prize winners named for innovations in exercise technology, food storage, and solar-flare prediction that improve astronaut health and performance.

Image Gallery: Government's 10 Most Powerful Supercomputers
(click for larger image and for full photo gallery)
As part of an ongoing plan to foster innovations in technology and science, NASA has awarded three individuals for a variety of inventions to improve human space exploration.

The Space Life Sciences Directorate (SLSD) at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston chose winners for devising inventions to address astronaut health and performance challenges. The awardees were selected from submissions received via the NASA Innovation Pavilion on the InnoCentive open marketplace.

InnoCentive lists various scientific and technological challenges and invites people to solve them, offering awards for solutions. Although 1,317 people from 65 countries opened "project rooms" to address the three NASA SLSD challenges, in the end NASA received 128 submissions.

One partial award went to Yury Bodrov, a Russian scientist, for proposing new flexible graphite material for food packaging. The material is lightweight and can maintain food quality over three years, according to NASA.

NASA gave a full challenge award to Alex Altshuler, an American mechanical engineer, for proposing a new compact aerobic exercise device for astronauts in space. As designed, the device would deliver the proper motions for exercises in space under limited or zero gravity. It also meets very specific size and space requirements.

A full award also went to Bruce Cragin, a retired American radio frequency engineer, for a way to forecast solar activity, something that generally poses serious risk to humans or aircraft during space exploration.

An award for a fourth challenge related to extraterrestrial research is still pending.

NASA posted three new challenges on its InnoCentive Innovation Pavilion on May 27; the deadline for submissions is July 27.

NASA also awards financial prizes to individuals, businesses, and others outside of the usual network of aerospace contractors via its Centennial Challenges. The agency unveiled three new opportunities on Tuesday.

The ultimate goal of all of these challenges is to seek innovations for technologies and inventions NASA may use from the general public.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Digital Transformation Myths & Truths
Transformation is on every IT organization's to-do list, but effectively transforming IT means a major shift in technology as well as business models and culture. In this IT Trend Report, we examine some of the misconceptions of digital transformation and look at steps you can take to succeed technically and culturally.
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll