Quilts and Space Collide – Part Two

Jeri Simon, editor of Landauer Publishing, is also the proud mother of four children.  Cory is a Human Interface Engineer with NASA.


I know they look like brother and sister – but this is actually mother and son.  And what happens when an engineer grows up with a mother that sews?  He develops wearable technology for the space program!

According to NASA, “Advances in Smart Fabrics technology are enabling an exciting array of new applications for NASA exploration missions, the biomedical community, and consumer electronics.This report summarizes the findings of a brief investigation into the state of the art and potential applications of smart fabrics to address challenges in human spaceflight.”

But there is much more to this story – and I love American creativity!  As we know, the space program has experienced massive budget cuts in the last few years which would have devastated most programs.  But Cory and NASA deveoped a program that was a win/win for everyone!

Cory and his team mentor students from such prestigious universities as Georgia Tech; Virginia Tech, and the University of Minnesota.  These students work on projects that contain sensors, displays and controls that will assist future astronauts.

The concept is simple:  Develop threads that will transmit data so that NASA will be able to monitor medical data 24/7.  The astronauts’ garments will transmit the data.  But, once this technology is developed, it will have far reaching implications for everyone on Earth as well.

In the medical field, doctors will be able to monitor stroke victims, preemies, and coma patients 24/7 without disturbing them.  And, on a greater scale, imagine a hospital stay without being woken up – a nurse wouldn’t have to take your pulse, blood pressure, or temperature!

In sports, trainers and coaches would be able to monitor their athletes.  If a football player was injured on the field, they would be able to treat him instantly.  Runners would be able to monitor their heart rates – and fans would know just how fast they were running at any given time.  The technology would take sports to a whole new level.

If you ever have an opportunity to tour NASA while in Houston, please go!  For those of us who grew up watching the space missions on television, it truly is a Brave New World!

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