Gayle Anderson was live in Los Angeles at one of the public viewing areas set up for the space shuttle Endeavour, which landed today at Los Angeles International Airport. It will remain in a hangar at LAX until October 12th, when it will be transported through the streets of Los Angeles to the California Science Center in Exposition Park. The shuttle can be viewed up close starting Tuesday, October 30th with the opening of the Samuel Oschin Space Shuttle Endeavour Display Pavilion at the California Science Center.
For more information:
"Space Shuttle Endeavour"
Opening Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Samuel Oschin Space Shuttle Endeavour Display Pavilion
California Science Center
700 Exposition Park Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90037
Endeavour was the last space shuttle built and was ordered to replace Challenger. First launched May 7, 1992, Space Shuttle Endeavour was named after a ship chartered to traverse the South Pacific in 1768 by British explorer, James Cook. During its first mission, STS-49, three spacewalking astronauts made the unprecedented effort to grab an orbiting satellite with their gloved hands and pull it into Endeavour's cargo bay so it could be repaired and re-launched from the shuttle. Endeavour also accomplished the first repair mission to NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, basically giving the telescope contact lenses so it could peer to the farthest edges of the universe.
Named after influential ships of science and exploration, each space shuttle (Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Atlantic and Endeavour) was built in Palmdale, CA, by Rockwell International. Between the first launch on April 12, 1981, and the final landing on July 21, 2011, NASA's space shuttle fleet flew 135 missions and helped construct the International Space Station. In addition, the Space Shuttle Program has generated more than 100 technology spinoffs.
A NASA spinoff is a technology originally developed to meet NASA mission needs, that has been transferred to the public as a commercial product or service. NASA spinoffs enhance many aspects of daily life, including health and medicine, transportation, public safety, consumer goods, energy and environment, information technology, and industrial productivity. These spinoffs are transferred to the public through various NASA partnerships including, licensing, funding agreements, assistance from NASA experts, the use of NASA facilities, and other collaborations between the Agency, private industry, other government agencies, and academia.
As of 2012, NASA has documented nearly 1,800 spinoff technologies in the annual NASA "SPINOFF" publication, which have benefitted U.S. industry, improved our quality of life, and created jobs.
Here are a few of the NASA spinoffs in everyday use:
1. Invisible braces- Designed to protect infrared antennae of heat-seeking missile trackers, translucent polycrystalline alumina (TPA) is also strong enough to withstand use as dental braces.
2. Scratch-resistant lenses- Designed to protect space equipment, like astronaut helmets, from damage by dust and particles in space, the special plastics coating is now also used to protect your eyewear.
3. Memory foam- Viscoelastic pressure-relieving foam found in Tempur-Pedic brand mattresses and similar brands was originally developed for space flight to lessen the impact of lift-off and landings.
4. Ear thermometer- Ear thermometers were developed from infrared technology used to measure the temperature of stars.
5. Shoe insoles- Today's shock-absorbing athletic shoes, such as AVIA and KangaROOS, have borrowed the technology of the moon boots, which helped lessen the impact of walking on astronaut's feet and provided ventilation.
6. Adjustable smoke detector- Teaming up with Honeywell Corporation, NASA invented the first adjustable smoke alarm with different sensitivity levels to prevent false alarms.
7. Cordless tools- NASA helped refine the technology used by Black and Decker for their cordless tools, which were used to collect samples on the moon. These innovations led to lightweight, cordless medical instruments, hand-held vacuum cleaners and other tools.
8. Long-distance telecommunications- Thanks to NASA satellite technology, around 200 communications satellites orbit the globe each day, allowing us to talk to people around the corner or overseas. Also, image sensors designed to maintain scientific image quality on miniature cameras on spacecraft are now used in digital cameras, camera phones, Web cameras and automotive cameras.
9. Lifeshears Rescue tools- Lifeshears are powerful handheld rescue tools that can quickly cut through cars or other enclosures to free persons involved in an accident or other dangerous situation. The tool uses the same power source used to separate solid rocket boosters from space shuttles, and are lighter, cheaper and easier to use than traditional rescue equipment.
10. Wildfire Management & Firefighting Tools- NASA's Terra and Aqua satellites provide daily images of fire patterns nationwide, which help manage wildfires more effectively. In addition, firefighters can locate hot spots in wildfires and everyday fires by scanning the flames with infrared handheld cameras, first used by NASA to observe the blazing plumes from shuttles.
11. Automotive insulation- NASCAR race cars shield drivers from extreme engine heat using materials from the same thermal protection system used to safeguard NASA astronauts onboard the space shuttle.
12. Home insulation- Homeowners are insulating their homes with the same lightweight, flexible aerogel NASA uses to insulate cryogenics on space shuttles.
13. Artificial Heart- More than 200 patients received a second chance at life with tiny heart pumps developed from space shuttle fuel pump technology.
For more information about NASA spinoffs and how NASA technologies benefit society, visit:
Shuttle Spinoffs: Space Age Technology For the Real World
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