NASA is, of course, most well known for its space explorations, but many of NASA discoveries and advancements in technologies are also applicable in other areas of science in technology. Their discoveries have helped created products such as LEDs, artificial limbs, freeze drying, etc. However, the extent of NASA’s influence wide-ranging and extends into categories such as public safety, consumer goods, industrial productivity, health and science, transportation, and information technology is difficult to fully grasp. As such, I wanted to create a visualization that showed NASA’s reach into private industry and development.
In 1958, NASA implemented the Technology Utilization Program, a program intended to inform the scientific community about the technologies being developed at NASA so they might use them to advance technology in other scientific areas. As part of this program, NASA has been publishing Spinoff, a book that details private spinoff of NASA’s developments. Spinoff has been published each year since 1976, and includes almost 1800 different spinoff technologies.
This visualization shows the spinoffs from the years 2009—2011. Each different category is color-coded across the years to show the different focuses of each year. And, each branch represents a different spinoff technology. NASA’s spinoff site publishes the PDFs of each of these articles.
For future development of this project, I would like to continue with this visualization to eventually include every years since 1976. In addition, it would be interesting to provide links to the articles within each of the branches, so that people could read about any of the spinoffs that they may be interested in.
NASA Spinoff Visualization