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Monday, August 6, 2012

Mission to Mars

Pretty cool that a student, Adam Steltzner, who made F+ in geometry is one of the lead scientists for the NASA Mars rover mission.  Wonderful that his ingenuity prevailed over his disinterest in geometry!  My mom thinks all space exploration is a waste of money.  "A rich man's playhouse is all it is", says Mary.  "Nothing has ever come from all that wasted money."

I like Corning ware.  But there are over 1500 applications noted in a 2010 article you can access at the following website:
NASA Spinoffs with Practical Applications
Under the Space Act of 1958, NASA has had a mandate to share all the information it has gained with the public. Here are a few of the practical applications that have resulted from technologies and information learned by space scientists:
CAT scans
Kidney dialysis machines
Heart defibrillator technology
Remote robotic surgery
Artificial heart pump technology
Physical therapy machines
Positron emission tomography
Microwave receivers used in scans for breast cancer
Cardiac angiography
Monitoring neutron activity in the brain
Cleaning techniques for hospital operating rooms
Portable x-ray technology for neonatal offices and 3rd world countries
Freeze-dried food
Water purification filters
ATM technology
Pay at the Pump satellite technology
Athletic shoe manufacturing technique
Insulation barriers for autos
Image-processing software for crash-testing automobiles
Holographic testing of communications antennas
Low-noise receivers
Cordless tools
A computer language used by businesses such as car repair shops, Kodak, hand-held computers, express mail
Aerial reconnaissance and Earth resources mapping
Airport baggage scanners
Distinction between natural space objects and satellites/warheads/rockets for defense
Satellite monitors for nuclear detonations
Hazardous gas sensors
Precision navigation
Clock synchronization
Ballistic missile guidance
Secure communications
Study of ozone depletion
Climate change studies
Monitoring of Earth-based storms such as hurricanes
Solar collectors
Fusion reactors
Space-age fabrics for divers, swimmers, hazardous material workers, and others
Teflon-coated fiberglass for roofing material
Lightweight breathing system used by firefighters
Atomic oxygen facility for removing unwanted material from 19th century paintings
FDA-adopted food safety program that has reduced salmonella cases by a factor of 2
Multispectral imaging methods used to read ancient Roman manuscripts buried by Mt. Vesuvius

    Pretty sure I'll never get much further than to the boundaries of the US and Canada.  I salute the dreamers, schemers and all the folks who worked on such a fascinating project!  An I am a sucker for guys with a pompadour!  Congratulations to NASA on the latest successful Mission to Mars.
Adam Steltzner

The team celebrating success!

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