Nanotechnology in Space Exploration, Report of the National Nanotechnology Initiative Workshop (2004)

Subject Area:
NNI Publications and Reports
Author: National Nanotechnology Initiative
Publication Date: Aug. 26 2004


Report of an NNI workshop seeking research committee input on the National Nanotechnology research agenda relating to space exploration, held August 24-26, 2004. Used an input for the NNI Strategic Plan released in December 2004.  Workshop was jointly sponsored by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and, through the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office, the other member agencies of the Nanoscale Science, Engineering and Technology (NSET) Subcommittee.  Key areas discussed included the roles in space initiatives of nanomaterials, nanosensors and instrumentation, microcraft and micro/nano-robotics and the potential for nanotechnology to facilitate astronaut health management.

Nanotechnology Fact

Yes, nanotechnology is becoming ubiquitous in our daily lives and has found its way into many commercial products, for example, strong, lightweight materials for better fuel economy; targeted drug delivery for safer and more effective cancer treatments; clean, accessible drinking water around the world; superfast computers with vast amounts of storage; self-cleaning surfaces; wearable health monitors; more efficient solar panels; safer food through packaging and monitoring; regrowth of skin, bone, and nerve cells for better medical outcomes; smart windows that lighten or darken to conserve energy; and nanotechnology-enabled concrete that dries more quickly and has sensors to detect stress or corrosion at the nanoscale in roads, bridges, and buildings. By some estimates, revenue from the sale of nanotechnology-enabled products made in the United States has grown more than six-fold from 2009 through 2016.

For more information, see Benefits and Applications.

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