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Several commercial applications derived from the space program have been developed by
In September 1977, MDAC created a new wholly owned subsidiary, VITEK Systems, Inc. that will produce our AutoMicrobic System and explore other related developments. This system, which performs automated diagnostic tests for use in clinical laboratories and hospitals, is based on medical and life-support developments in the U. S. space effort. McDonnell Douglas transferred the technology used to cool electronic equipment on spacecraft into the development of heat pipes used on the Alaska oil pipeline. These sealed tubes, containing anhydrous ammonia, collect and dissipate soil heat to keep the ground frozen and prevent foundation instability caused by arctic temperature extremes. moving parts or external power are used. We have manufactured more than 100,000 of these devices for the pipeline.
McDonnell Douglas will supply cryogenic insulation and containment systems for large
Visual flight simulation systems using space technology are being produced by Mc Donnell
Our Delta space booster is a direct application of space systems. More than 125 payloads
McDonnell Douglas has invested almost $100 million of private capital in these commercial
The advent of the Shuttle will greatly contribute to the growth of new opportunities.
Major technological advances will come in the areas of solar power generation, advanced communications, and new industrial processes. Plans are being made to determine the technical and economic feasibility of transferring space-generated solar-electrical energy to the ground as a means of relieving our energy problems.
Advanced communication networks are being designed that will embody vastly improved techniques and equipment. These improvements will promote international cooperation, education, news coverage, air traffic control, search and rescue, military operations, data and message interchange among individuals, and many other aspects of information gathering and transfer.
Experiments using the NASA Shuttle and the European-developed Spacelab are expected to produce many new products that cannot be made on earth. These products will result from new manufacturing processes or experiments that take advantage of the zero gravity and controlled environment available in space.
Significant technological advances are also expected in several other areas, including data handling, earth observations, man's usefulness in space, on-orbit construction, solar-terrestrial correlation, life sciences, planetary exploration, and knowledge of the
The time is right to get these relevant and beneficial programs under way. potential for technological advance so great, it is vital that the criteria for selection of our next initiatives in space be given intense attention.