Xploration Outer Space: I was surfing channels last week, trying to find something to have on while I fixed breakfast, and I hit an interesting NASA show I had not known about before. It’s called “Xploration Outer Space” and was made in 2015 (there seem to be other variants of the “Xploration” programming, too). This particular episode was entitled “Technology from Space,” and it was mostly about NASA’s Tech Transfer Office (Season 2, Episode 2). It’s an older series, and not strictly up to date, but it has good examples of how NASA-developed technology is enhancing our daily lives. I did some checking; another episode is worthy of your attention, Season 2, Episode 6, “Why We Explore.” It touches on how all astro/cosmonauts have their attitudes about Earth change when the first get to orbit and see how small and fragile our “pale blue dot’ really is. Perhaps you cable or other video media access service carries these shows. Check them out!

NASA’s Technology Transfer Mission: Since NASA’s inception in 1958, it has transferred the knowledge and technology it developed to commercial and other organizations!

From the office of NASA’s Chief Technologist: “Over the course of its history, NASA has nurtured partnerships with the private sector to facilitate the transfer of NASA-developed technologies. The benefits of these partnerships have reached throughout the economy and around the globe, as the resulting commercial products contributed to the development of services and technologies in the fields of health and medicine, transportation, public safety, consumer goods, environmental resources, computer technology, and industry.

“The National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958 that created NASA called for the new agency to disseminate its technology for public benefit. Accordingly, NASA is obliged to provide for the widest practicable dissemination of information concerning results of NASA’s activities. Subsequent legislation further formalized NASA’s obligation to find secondary uses for its technologies.” An excellent example of this follows below. As only NASA can!

NASA’s Office of Technology, Policy, and Strategy: The Agency Chief Technologist presents their 2023 Year-in-Review: The OTPS 2023 Annual Report is here:

JPL Entrepreneurs: “The JPL Office of Technology Transfer (JPL OTT) works closely with JPL innovators at every step of the technology transfer process, and provides the resources and expertise needed to engage the commercial sector and establish partnerships.”For more information, see:

NASA Supports Tech Innovations: NASA has a long tradition of technological advancement and commercialization. They have announced the creation of two new Space Technology Research Institutes, one for engineering tech, particularly in 3D printing and other manufacturing techniques, and the other for climate research; see: NASA also distributed $5M in awards for research into advanced aircraft manufacturing and composite materials; see: and:

NASA Supports New Technologies: “NASA has selected hundreds of small businesses and dozens of research institutions to develop technology to help drive the future of space exploration, ranging from novel sensors and electronics to new types of software and cutting-edge materials. The newly awarded projects under the agency's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program also.” For more information about how NASA research needs are being met by hundreds of small companies, many of which will spin-off new non-NASA products of value, see:!

Small Business Innovation Research: NASA has for years had a program designed to help entrepreneurs develop technology. They recently announced an investment of $105 million for their Small Business Innovation Research program. The awardees will use NASA-developed technologies for other commercial applications. These programs have the potential to be very beneficial to the American taxpayer. So, the next time you hear somebody complain about NASA “wasting” American resources, cite this stuff back at them! For more information on this wonderful program for all of us, see: and also

NASA Software Available for Business and Public Use: The public can now download NASA computational innovations originally designed to support its missions. To find out more, and to access NASA’s catalog of available software, see:

Technology Transfer Office: NASA has for decades maintained a Technology Transfer Office to promote and manage the “transfer of NASA technology to promote the commercialization and public availability of Federally-owned inventions to benefit the national economy and the U.S. public.” Unlike spin-offs, where the new application was not envisioned at the time the technology was developed, tech transfer was usually planned for as part of the development process. In some cases, NASA partnered with outside entities to develop technology that would have both NASA and non-NASA uses from the get-go.

For info on the NASA Tech Transfer Office, see:



T2 Portal:

NASA Software Catalog:

NASA Patent Portfolio:

Award-winning Technologies:

JPL Tech Transfer Office:

Goddard Space Flight Center Tech Transfer Office:

Johnson Space Center Tech Transfer Office:

NASA Scientific and Technical Information Program:

NASA Office of Chief Technologist, Technology Transfer, and Spinoffs:

Other Beneficial Techniques

NASA SP-4102: Managing NASA in the Apollo Era will be, I think, of great interest to NASM Docents and those of you who like to know about the history involved in going to the Moon. After all, the development of the managerial processes needed to manage a huge project with tight safety, cost, time and other constraints was one of the biggest and best spin-offs from the Apollo program! See:

NASA assembled a series of important papers showing analyses of satellite technology, its applications for communications (including Arthur C. Clarke’s 1945 papers (plural) regarding the potential utility of communication relay satellites in geosynchronous orbit), and the potential value of using satellites as observation platforms and for low-g manufacturing. These wonderful historical information resources have been assembled in on NASA Special Publication, NASA SP-4407; see:

In fact, the NASA SP series covers many Space-related topics, and make for some very interesting reading. For a description and links to many of them, see: