Highlights from this issue include: Discussion of the Shuttle Orbiter, Aircraft Energy Effiency program, Engine Research, Fly By Wire Controls, Weather by Satellite, Monitoring Land and Resource use, Recharagble Pacemaker Batteries, Mailfunctionl Detection Systems, Solar Panls, Fire Safty, New Medical Diagnostic Aids, Brain Pressure Monitoring, and many other advances.
As a result of a 1958 congressional mandate, NASA, in 1962, created the Technology Utilization Program. It was supported by Technology Utilization Offices at each of the field centers and four Industrial Applications Centers (IACs). The number of IACs grew rapidly to seven by the early 1970s and ten in the early 1980s.
Early studies of Tech Briefs, the publication dedicated to informing the scientific community about available NASA technologies, and ongoing requests received for supporting information, indicated a strong need in the private sector for new technology to aid in the development of commercial products and services.
When spinoff products began to emerge from space technologies, NASA considered the possibility of an annual report to present at congressional budget hearings. The result was a black and white ÃƒÂƒÃ‚Â¢Technology Utilization Program Report,ÃƒÂƒÃ‚Â¢ published in 1973, followed by another one in 1974. The technologies in these reports created interest in the technology transfer concept, its successes, and its use as a public awareness tool. The reports generated such keen interest by the public that NASA decided to make them into an attractive publication. Thus, the first four-color edition of Spinoff was published in 1976.
Each year since, a new issue has highlighted the transfer of NASA technology to the private sector. The Agency distributes copies to politicians, economic decision makers, company CEOs, academics, professionals in technology transfer, the news media, and the general public.
NASAÃƒÂƒÃ‚Â¢s Spinoff publication accomplishes several goals. First, it is a convincing justification for the continued expenditure of NASA funds. It serves as a tool to educate the media and the general public by informing them about the benefits and dispelling the myth of wasted taxpayer dollars. It reinforces interest in space exploration. It demonstrates the possibility to apply aerospace technology in different environments. It highlights the ingenuity of American inventors, entrepreneurs, and application engineers, and the willingness of a government agency to assist them. And finally, it continues to ensure global competitiveness and technological leadership by the United States.
The total number of stories published since 1976 is nearly 1,800, which does not include approximately 100 stories featured in the 1973 and 1974 reports.
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. :- t Spinoff 1977 /" 1' .k,":~>
AN ANNUAL REPORT
AN ANNUAL REPORT
1 . ..
National Aeronautics & ,.. .. -.* .,
Space Administration ". .-
Technology Utilization Office
Acknowledgements: Todd Anuskiewicz with the
assistance of James E. Beebe and Joann Kirstukas
Informatics Information Systems Co., for coor- ykf.j
dinating the preparation of this report; Charles /?" f9t
Mourning, Denver Research Institute, for s u p p l y i n g ~ ~
information; William P. Taub for photography; and k$p
Rob Shultz, Plumridge Advertising.
The National Aeronautics & Space Administration has Technology is an important commodity of 20th
many missions but they can all be reduced to a Century life. It is a generator of new conveniences
common denominator: to explore Earth and its and improved necessities for a better way of life; it i s I'
surroundings, conduct aeronautical research, and a tool for increased productivity, hence a contributor
put the results to work for the benefit of mankind. to a nation's prosperity; it is an instrument of interna-
At times the benefit may be dimly perceived. tional prestige and an implement for helping the
Take, for instance, last year's monumental triumph of world's less-developed nations; and it provides a -
exploration, the landing of robot spacecraft on Mars. means of attacking some of mankind's most pressing ,
How, some ask, does probing a neighbor planet problems.
improve the lot of Earth's people? Technology needs push, momentum, direction.
In two ways: scientific gain and technological NASA's broad quest for knowledge plays a vital role
advancement. Though perhaps little understood, in that regard, providing stimulus and focus. Con-
they are concrete benefits, assets as tangible as sider, for example, the enormity of the task assigned
sunshine, more valuable than gold. the Viking development team: to build an automat