When someone mentions NASA you may first think about the Apollo Moon missions, space shuttles, rovers on Mars, and breathtaking pictures of the planets and distant stars and galaxies. And while NASA was and is very much responsible for all of these things, some of the most important achievements of NASA aren’t what’s accomplished out in space but how its technological advancements are used right here on Earth. Because of NASA’s needs in space, advancements were also made possible in aeronautics, defense, medicine, law enforcement, sports, transportation, safety, industrial, retail, and even some of the technology used in your home.
NASA doesn’t keep these innovations a secret, either. Its Spinoff publication lists, each year since 1976, the improvements made in various fields by NASA itself as well as companies across the country that have taken advantage of its publicly-available technology.
Part of NASA’s mission, written into the Agency’s foundational legislation, is a requirement to “provide for the widest practicable and appropriate dissemination” of the fruits of its scientific and technological discoveries. Spinoff 2017 shows that this spirit is alive and well at NASA, and we hope that you enjoy reading about the many ways space exploration yields practical benefits for all of us on Earth.
— Stephen Jurczyk, Associate Administrator, NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate
Download the 2017 issue of NASA Spinoff here to learn how NASA is launching innovations and improving lives across the U.S. and the world.