Science is mostly a collaborative effort. Helen Keller once said, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much”.
NASA firmly believes in this and often releases its innovative technologies into the public domain. NASA has also Developed a searchable database that catalogs thousands of expired NASA patents already in the public domain. The expired patents are assumed to be in public domain, so technically, everyone is allowed to use and develop those technologies. You may search the database of NASA-developed technologies now in the public domain here.
The technologies patented in the 56 patents were developed during research for NASA missions but they also have terrestrial applications. These patents will help aircraft and space companies to understand and use NASA’s innovations and may also result in new collaborations between NASA and the private industry. According to NASA, the technologies include advanced manufacturing processes, sensors, propulsion methods, rocket nozzles, thrusters, aircraft wing designs and improved rocket safety and performance concepts.
A few examples include:
- Technologies designed to mitigate the dangerous gases created as humans live and work in space
- Inventions related to rocket nozzles, injection systems and propellants that might help launch a new generation of commercial spacecraft
- Methods for controlling airflow around vehicles in hypersonic flight
“By making these technologies available in the public domain, we are helping foster a new era of entrepreneurship that will again place America at the forefront of high-tech manufacturing and economic competitiveness,” said Daniel Lockney, NASA’s Technology Transfer program executive. “By releasing this collection into the public domain, we are encouraging entrepreneurs to explore new ways to commercialize NASA technologies.”