Many of the technologies that we use today had beginnings that you may never expect! Engineering is hiding throughout many different fields and industries all around the globe. Various events in time have inspired engineering innovations that have truly revolutionised the world we live in. Two of those significant events have been war and the space race! Both tremendous feats, NASA engineers were able to build creations that changed the world through these events. At Prime Engineering, we love all things engineering and are interested in how these steps forward happen, that is why we have put together a list of engineering breakthroughs that have taken place thanks to NASA and their involvement in the space race and war.
Engineering and War
The X Programme
Created back in the 1940s, the X-programme saw vast and exciting revolutions in aviation engineering. They broke barriers literally, when in 1947, after an air-launch high above the empty Southern California desert, pilot Chuck Yeager became the first human to reach Mach One. This NASA program brought ‘crazy’ and exotic ideas like planes without wings, without tails and without pilots; ideas that seemed impossible at the time. The X-programme has created many different designs that have been used in combat, changing aircraft uses in and out of war scenarios forever.
NASA Engineers worked with Intelligent Optical Systems to develop moisture and pH-sensitive sensors to warn of potentially dangerous corrosive conditions in an aircraft before significant structural damage occurs. The technology was used by the U.S. Department of Defense to further develop the sensors for detecting chemical warfare agents and potential threats, such as toxic industrial compounds and nerve agents, for which they proved just as successful. The innovation has been sold to major automotive and aerospace companies, who use the devices for aiding experimentation with nontraditional power sources and as an economic “alarm system” for detecting chemical release in large facilities.
The Space Race
The Water Purifier
Astronauts completing extreme missions needed to find a way to access basic necessities, like water, whilst they were hundreds or thousands of kilometres away from the surface of the Earth. While multiple water tanks may seem like a simple and straightforward solution to this problem, due to the long mission times that these astronauts completed, they needed a way to lighten the load. A water filtration system was created by NASA engineers to turn wastewater from respiration, sweat and urine into clean, drinkable water. The technology is still used today in communities where water is too contaminated to drink.
Before astronauts were sent into space, unmanned satellites were sent on test flights to send back data. This was so that NASA could collect information and figure out how best to approach their mission. The technology that stemmed from these tests included wireless satellite connections that went on to influence how TV and communication systems work today. There are now over 200 satellites that orbit the globe every day!
These life-changing revolutions are inspirational to us at Prime Engineering. If you require customised problem solving for your engineering needs, Prime Engineering will use our innovation and know-how to help you to resolve them. Contact us today to see how we can help!