5 Ways NASA Technology Changed The Ski Industry

5 Ways NASA Technology Changed The Ski Industry


5 Ways NASA Technology Changed The Ski Industry


Whether creating modern water filters or memory foam, NASA has some pretty notable inventions under its belt. However, NASA’s effect on the skiing community is just as astounding. Here are the Top 5 NASA innovations that changed the ski industry.

5) Aerial Snow Surveys

In 2013, NASA’s Jet Propulsion laboratory and the California Department of Water Resources got together to record snow data by aerial means. The result was a vastly improved snow depth recording system for the high alpine of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California. This method, whose detailed data surpassed remotely operated sensors, provides more accurate snow data for the ski touring public.

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4) Insulation

In space, temperatures can drop to -148 degrees farenheit. So inevitably, NASA  had to produce innovative technology in order to improve insulation for its astronauts. The result? NASA teamed up with Aspen Systems Inc. to create a new type of insulation called aerogel. The substance, which consists of the same chemicals as glass, is made up of 99.8% air, making the insulation the lightest solid material known to man. Known in the ski industry as “Spaceloft,” this cousin of aerogel can be found in ski jackets across the world.

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Remember: NASA Proves The Earth is Melting in These 10 Images

3) Weather Forecasting

In February of this year, NASA employed the services of Japanese based Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency to compile data from 12 different satellites in order to create a worldwide time-lapse for rain and snowfall around the world. In the end, the time-lapse revealed the effects of climate change on world wide precipitation. The broad view of the weather has dramatically changed long-term forecasting and will be a huge factor in predicting the effects of El Niño’s both this year and in years to come.

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2) Goggles

NASTEK, which is the material used on astronauts’ shield lenses, prevents the absorption of harmful blue light radiation. The technology also increases visibility in low light scenarios and less blue light means skiers can see farther with better definition.

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1) Ski Boots

Eric Giese

Photo Credit: Fulltiltboots.com

While the United States made its first steps towards space exploration, a wave of technology was hitting the marketplace. During the development of the original space suit, developers at NASA were having problems finding a way to seamlessly incorporate electrical and temperature control systems without them becoming tangled or knotted. The solution– articulating joint pieces.

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Al Gross along with Dixie Rinehart developed the original technology, which included space boots. In a bizarre twist of fate, Gross was eventually hired by Comfort Technologies Inc., where he took his experience and applied articulating joint technology to ski boots. The result was a 3 piece, fully articulated boot, which was later bought by Swiss company Raichle. After a slow period during the 1990’s, the molds were bought and sold and branded as Full Tilt Boots.

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Interested in Other Inventions That Came From NASA?

Read This: Top 10 NASA Inventions

Also Read: Skiing on the Moon? | NASA’s Official Report.

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