Washington D.C. – The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has carefully selected and released 1,200 patents to the public domain as part of its initiative to make its technologies available for the benefit of the economy. Thousands of expired patents can be now freely used not only by private space companies, but also by entrepreneurs who want to adapt these technologies for non-aerospace applications.

NASA’s website reads that the technologies available in the database can be used without a license agreement, meaning that anyone who wants to independently pursue product development will not be required to contact the agency.

Public Domain NASA Technologies
NASA has released 56 formerly-patented agency technologies into the public domain, making its government-developed technologies available for free for anyone to use. Image Credit: NASA

The inventions contained in the searchable database range from advanced manufacturing processes to propulsion methods, reinforced rocket safety and performance concepts.

The project is led by NASA’s Technology Transfer program. Executive Daniel Lockney said in a statement that the main goal is to encourage entrepreneurs to figure out new methods to market NASA technologies.

“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”, Lockney expressed, according to Engadget.

Rigorous selection

NASA said the public domain patents are “freely available for anyone to use”. This means that anyone who wants to use them at no cost will not have to go through all the paperwork often required to license intellectual property.

However, the agency selected those patents that “are less likely to be licensed by outside companies because of low demand for resulting products (e.g. spacecraft)” or need further development before they can actually be commercialized.

The database also contains technologies aimed at reducing the dangerous gases generated when astronauts live and conduct research in space, rocket-nozzles-related inventions and techniques to control airflow around vehicles in hypersonic flight.

Source: Engadget