By Glenn A. Walsh
Reporting for SpaceWatchtower
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration, known to everyone by the acronym "NASA," was established by the National Aeronautics and Space Act on 1958 July 29, superceding the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). Launches of Americans into space began on 1961 May 5, when Astronaut Alan Shepard went on a sub-orbital flight in a Mercury spacecraft named Freedom 7.
Starting in 1962, NASA technologies became available for use by businesses and the general public, with the establishment of NASA's Technology Utilization Plan (TUP). Products, services, and processes, from this technology transfer, have generated billions of dollars worth of American jobs and company profits, as well as saving lives. For every tax dollar used by NASA, studies estimate a boost in the economy of $7 to $14.
The following are the four general categories of NASA spin-offs:
1) NASA develops a technology and sells the license for commercial use.
2) NASA enhances an existing technology and helps grow the industry.
3) NASA contracts a company to produce a technology that has future commercial use.
4) NASA employees develop a commercial product with the expertise gained from working at NASA.
Since 1976, a NASA publication titled, Spinoff, has documented nearly 1,800 commercial spin-offs from NASA technology.
An infographic created by the Internet web site, www.GreatBusinessSchools.org , now highlights some of the major NASA spin-offs which have helped the American economy over the last half-century.
Sources: GreatBusinessSchools.org ; Glenn A. Walsh, Reporting for SpaceWatchtower, a project of Friends of the Zeiss.
2014: 75th Year of Pittsburgh's Buhl Planetarium
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