Lee DuGoff is the assistant technology utilization officer at Kennedy Space Center. His department is responsible for evaluation of a multitude of developments, which arise through the efforts of our space program. The types of benefits range from fields as diverse as medicine to earth resource monitoring, to weather detection, among others. Biomedical application teams are tasked to work with medical researchers to define the medical problems that exist, in which technology can assist. He discusses "clean room technology," which eliminates lint and germs from surgical suites.
Tech brief announcements and reports are provided to keep the public informed of these technologies. An example is a special helmet with which babies and children can be tested for hearing impairments using audio. A shock absorber developed through the space program has been applied to automobile bumpers and guardrails on superhighways. Testing has shown that this reduces the damage done by an impact of 60 miles per hour to 5 miles per hour.
Ecology is discussed and the awareness that came in 1968, with the first orbit of the moon and the first pictures from outer space, that showed Americans that Earth is a closed system that must be taken care of. Aerial photography is allowing us to monitor our planet in ways we couldn't before. We can track various species of animals using satellites. These measurement tools and sensors are the tools that are needed to measure the problems in ecology. This has agricultural uses, which help farmers to detect problems on their farms, such as corn blight, using infrared photography. Blighted palm trees and Dutch elm disease can be tracked using this technology.
Uses in medical technology are being explored, such as the high-speed centrifuge used in gravity testing being used for repositioning a bullet ih a patient's brain. Aluminized mylar, wrapped around the legs of the lunar module to protect it from any possible damage of the blast of the descent engine on landing, is so reflective that it absorbs 80 percent of the heat. This material can be used in the home to line draperies to protect them from damage to fine fabrics. Styrofoam as insulation, the packaging used for foods in space, and dehydrated foods are discussed, along with Tootsie Rolls.