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Inducted Space Technology Hall of Fame Technologies

The Space Technology Hall of Fame® comprises many extraordinary innovations — all derived from or significantly improved by space research or exploration. Learn about the inducted technologies and the innovators here. You can scroll through all the years or find something specific using the handy search bar above. To nominate a technology, please visit our Nominate a Technology page to learn more about the Space Technology Hall of Fame® selection criteria.

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Apollo 70 Cardiac Care Monitoring System

Founded in 1958, Spacelabs Healthcare approached NASA with their concept of a real-time system for monitoring astronauts’ vital signs while in orbit, including a telemetry system to simultaneously transmit the data back to Earth. From 1962 to 1967, Spacelabs was awarded NASA and Air Force contracts to develop this system, which was first used by…

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Audio Conference Bridge Technology

Compunetix was founded in 1968 as a small contract-services technology provider. In 1987, they won a contract to deliver a digital voice switching system for NASA that would accommodate the agency’s wide range of communication needs. At the time, NASA’s communication network was an analog system requiring the manual switching of cables to relay communication…

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Traveling-Wave Tube Amplifier

First developed in the 1930s, Traveling-Wave Tube Amplifiers (TWTAs) were designed to amplify radio frequency signals. It was in the early 1960s that NASA and L3 teamed up to evolve the technology so it would meet the transmission needs of space missions. The first TWTA flew on a satellite in 1962, and they have been…

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SpiraFlex Interim Resistive Exercise Device (iRED)

Long stays in space, such as on the ISS, take a toll on the human body, as muscles atrophy and bones weaken and lose minerals. Astronauts have long used exercise equipment to help mitigate the effects of microgravity on their bodies. But as NASA astronaut Shannon Lucid found in 1996 after a six-month stay on…

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Ka-Band Software-Defined Radio (SDR)/Harris AppSTAR™ Architecture

Communication devices, such as smart phones and radios, rely on electromagnetic spectrum, particularly the “S-band” portion to transmit data. Given the growing use of these technologies, the S-band has become congested with many users. This is a challenge for space missions especially given the huge amounts of data that must be rapidly delivered to Earth…

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Miniaturized Laser Terminals for the Skies and Beyond

Reliable and affordable Laser Communication technology connecting the world There is an increasing worldwide demand for internet access to connect all aspects of our modern society.  Miniaturized Laser Terminals for aircraft, UAVs and satellites can provide backbone connectivity for such access in a reliable and affordable way. Digital communications technology reaches every aspect of our…

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High-Strength, Wear Resistant Aluminum Alloy (NASA 398)

Light weight alloy technology with proven durability, longevity and reduced environmental impact In 1993, the Partnership for Next-Generation Vehicles (PNGV) brought together federal laboratories, universities, automakers and other industry partners, with the common goal of increasing automotive fuel efficiency and reducing environmental impact. Towards this end, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center began work on its…

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Sewage Treatment With Water Hyacinths

For more than a decade, NASA’s laboratories conducted research on the use of water hyacinths for treating and recycling wastewater for application in space colonies and long duration manned space flights of the future. Researchers discovered that water hyacinths thrive on sewage by absorbing and digesting nutrients and minerals from wastewater. Thus a means of…

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Programmable Implantable Medication System

A family of biomedical implantable devices have been developed over the past decade which are based on a wide array of space technologies, including battery advances, miniaturized circuitry, digital telemetry, and electronic sensing systems. The initial device was the rechargeable cardiac pacemaker, but many more continue to be developed that significantly aid health maintenance. A…

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Power Factor Controller

Millions of alternating current motors are in use throughout industry and in consumer products. Much of the power they consume, however, is wasted because electricity is fed to homes and factories at a fixed voltage level which is not required constantly by motor-driven devices and equipment, especially when in an idling mode. The cumulative power…

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