I haven't checked the site, but you might try "hook-pile tape" instead of the trademarked commercial "Velcro". The US Military uses the hpt phrase for that reason; it may stand to reason that NASA does the same.
I religiously followed the Apollo missions as a kid, and all the NASA planetary exploration missions that came later. Our nation's space program definitely had a big influence on my career choice.
The first project I worked on after getting my BSEE was for a NASA satellite, and I even met an old-timer who had worked on the transponders for the Apollo missions.
Those were very exciting times to be a young engineer!
There's something about space, the technology, the frontier... the future. On my drive across the country, I talked with a reader yesterday who got into engineering because of Star Wars (Lucas, not Reagan). Lot of engineers were inspired by Star Trek and probably before that Buck Rogers.
I presented a software conference about 15 years ago and met an Australian engineer that state no matter what happens in the future it was America that first put man on the moon. I am one of those wide eyed kids watching the moon shots and decided to be an engineer. While we have not given up space launches, we have given up on our manned space launch program. It is too bad, but I believe that we will have a manned program back in the near future.
I am both proud of what we have accomplished with the US space program and sad that we have given up on space flight as a nation. We have benefited in so many ways from the space program. I am not just talking about the technology and the spinoffs but more importantly the inspiration the program created. How many young men and women (boys and girls) were encouraged to pursue engineering careers as a result the the space program? How many current engineers working now once watched the moon landing or the shuttle launches when they were growing up and thought: "I want to do that when I grow up". The space program is (and was) more than just a vehicle (pun intended) for higher technology developments, it was a source of pride and incentive for generations of kids. Pride in America and in what our engineers and scientists could do. Incentive to reach for the stars in what ever they do, to pursue dreams and challenges. We are far richer for having the space program and its many benefits.
The NASA site and publication below purports to have tracked every commercialized NASA technology since 1976, five years before the first shuttle launch. I tried searching on the term "velcro," since this is a common example of a NASA technology spinoff. But a search of NASA's data base came up empty. Perhaps you will have better luck.
Here's the link:
I'm sure there have been many inventions from the space program that are now used for products that we buy. Thing like the pen that writes upside down. Does anyone know of a compilation of these inventions?
I often reminded my parents of the innovations and changes they have seen in their lifetime...one of which was the advent of the airplane and its impact and the space program and its ongoing impact.
It is said that one of the most dramatic "jump cut shots" in the movie industry was the one used by Stanley Kubrick in the film "2001: A Space Odyssey" which showed some pre-humans fighting with clubs followed by a three million year jump cut from weapon to spacecraft.
One a smaller scale, but nonetheless significant, this generation, and our parents' generation, have experienced quite a 'jump cut shot'.
NASA's Orion Flight Software Production Systems Manager Darrel G. Raines joins Planet Analog Editor Steve Taranovich and Embedded.com Editor Max Maxfield to talk about embedded flight software used in Orion Spacecraft, part of NASA's Mars mission. Live radio show and live chat. Get your questions ready.
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