Since NASA was formed in 1958 the commercially significant technologies developed in the course of mission research have been shared with industry to solve engineering and manufacturing problems. Over the years NASA innovations have contributed to the development of commercial products and services in the fields of health and medicine, industry, consumer goods, computer technology, and environment.
A few mission research technologies developed by NASA:
- #1 : Depiction of a possible future mission to mine an asteroid
- #2 : Ion propulsion engine used by NMP's Deep Space 1
- #3 : Quick-Connect nut fastener developed for use on spacecraft
- #4 : Robotic-assisted surgical system
- #5 : Global fire monitoring in Florida
- #6 : GPS terrain monitoring for pilots
- #7 : Toy replica of Mars Pathfinder rover produced by Mattel
The innovative technologies Space Technology 5 (ST5) has demonstrated will be infused into future micro-sat or nanosat missions, such as a constellation mission to study solar substorms. The data products (results) from ST5 could provide scientists with a better understanding of solar activity, which in turn could improve the accuracy of space weather forecasting. More accurate forecasting would help us to be better prepared for disruptions by space weather to our power, communication, and navigation systems.