If you needed another excuse to procrastinate today, we just found it. NASA has uploaded more than 300 extremely rare films to YouTube. The NASA channel is now bursting with super cool stuff like footage of 1950’s experimental aircraft to 1960’s lunar landing research tests.
There is also a video of the time they crashed a Boeing 720! The spectacular controlled crash happened in 1984 at the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center. The purpose of the crash was to test a new type of fuel additive for retarding or suppressing fire in air-crash landing scenarios. The additive, called FM-9 works by blending with standard Jet-A fuel to inhibit ignition and flame propagation. The additive was tested by NASA using an out of service Boeing 720 four-engine airliner. The remotely piloted plane was crashed into several steel structures set up on the bed of Rogers Dry Lake at Edwards Air Force Base to breach the fuel tanks in the wings.
The resulting crash tore the wings off the plane and resulted in a fire that burnt for more than an hour. It was concluded the additive was insufficiently beneficial. The Federal Aviation Administration concluded that only about a quarter of the passengers would have survived. The test did result in some significant changes being made to the internal layout of planes including improved seat design.
NASA or the National Aeronautics and Space Administration was established by President D. Eisenhower in 1958. Its aim was to encourage and nurture advancements in space science.
NASA has been behind the biggest space advancements of the United States, including the Apollo Moon landings. The newly released videos give a glimpse into the way NASA has worked year after year to develop new technologies and make scientific breakthroughs. The archival videos are part of an effort by NASA to give the public more of an insight into the work of the agency and to shed light on its extraordinary history.
[Image Source: Pixabay]
Many commonplace inventions are thanks to the work by NASA engineers. Each year NASA publish, Spinoff, a magazine dedicated to the technologies that we have adopted into our everyday lives that began in a NASA lab. The 2017 edition features mass 3D printing and a high-performance golf club design. The 3D printing technology was developed by engineers to assist crews going into deep space print what they needed on their journey. Tests completed on one 3D printer prototype printed a calibration coupon, a torque test, and a clip for the mini CubeSat satellites. It also printed a working ratchet tool with plans sent from space rather than being pre-loaded. The printing technology also hopes to be made available in developing countries, where it is believed it could alleviate the difficulties faced by low resourced entrepreneurs and aid workers.
Previous editions of Spinoff have included such common items as artificial limbs, baby formula, cordless tools and the computer mouse!
Motherboard was first to report on NASA’s historic footage library being uploaded to YouTube. Eventually, more than 500 videos are expected to be added. We definitely recommend setting aside an hour or two to scroll through the space treasure trove.
Sources: Motherboard, NASA, Gizmodo