NASA Makes 56 Patents Video Available in Community Domain -

NASA Makes 56 Patents Video Available in Community Domain

We may have all presently won the lottery (and we didn’t even know we were playing). NASA just released 56 patented technologies into the public domain, a shift that’s designed to make many of the agency’s brightest ideas freely obtainable to private industry.
It means that a digit of space-related technologies developed at government expense can now be freely used by whoever can make the best use of them. Obviously, a great deal of the new tech skews toward spaceflight and space exploration—but perhaps just as intriguing are the terrestrial purposes that may come from this.
By creation these technologies available in the public domain, we are helping foster a new era of entrepreneurship that will once more place America at the forefront of high-tech manufacturing and economic competitiveness,” says Daniel Lockney of NASA’s skill Transfer Program.
NASA also hopes that the let go will foster more and better collaborations with private industry, which is a move toward that’s already borne spectacular fruit, especially recently, in partnerships with SpaceX and Bigelow Aerospace.
The database of recently released patents includes quite a few intriguing technologies. Among the highlights:
    A “dusty plasma thruster,” an electric thrust system that can use unprocessed lunar dust as propellant; this eliminates the require to process fuels for such an engine—simply scoop up electrostatic dust from the lunar regolith, feed it into the thruster, and zip around the Solar System
    A technique for converting Nitrogen Oxide waste into fertilizer (very useful, one can imagine, for long-term space travel, and Martian habitats)
    A means of weakening the shock wave strength in the leading edge of a vehicle traveling at supersonic speeds
    Low-cost method for manufacturing high-quality carbon nanotubes, with an estimated production cost of $50/gram (opposed to current costs of $1,000/gram)
NASA Makes 56 Patents Video Available in Community Domain
    A plan for a Hall thruster (a type of ion thruster) that uses a “magnetically-conformed, variable area discharge chamber,” increasing train efficiency
    A downlink data multiplexer (sounds cool)
    A tougher type of aerogel
    A “monopropellant” rocket engine with fewer touching parts and potential points of weakness, which is designed to use liquid hydrogen as a propulsive fluid to achieve “high velocity and high-specific impulse.”
So there’s a lot of really neat stuff to be establish among the new technologies—it’s just a matter having the money and the wherewithal to develop it. But we think some actually clever folks will have no trouble at all putting some of this stuff to apply.
Apparently, NASA thinks so too.  You can verify out the database of newly released-patents here.

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