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NASA Recognized for Water Purification and Clean Up Technologies


WASHINGTON - On April 12, two technologies developed at NASA for America’s space program will be inducted into the Space Foundation’s Space Technology Hall of Fame. NASA’s Johnson Space Center, Houston, receives the honor for its development of the Microbial Check Valve used in water purification. NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, Fla., is recognized for the development of Emulsified Zero-Valent Iron technology used to clean contaminated ground water.

Michele Brekke, director, Innovative Partnerships Program, Johnson Space Center, and Dr. David Bartine, director of Applied Technology at Kennedy Space Center, will accept the awards on behalf of NASA at the Space Technology Hall of Fame dinner, the closing event of the Space Foundation’s four-day National Space Symposium held in Colorado Springs, Colo. This is the 19th year the Space Foundation has given the awards; 54 technologies have been recognized.

The Microbial Check Valve is an integral component for maintaining safe drinking water in water purification systems now deployed in rural areas and developing countries around the world. Engineers at Johnson developed the system to provide microbial control for drinking water systems for the space shuttle and the International Space Station. Johnson will join the Water Security Corporation, Sparks, Nev., and Umpqua Research, Myrtle Creek, Ore., as inductees for developing the technology.

Retired NASA employee Richard Sauer will receive an individual award for his work on the Microbial Check Valve while he was the manager of Shuttle Water Quality at Johnson.

Emulsified Zero-Valent Iron technology is a cost-effective, environmentally-friendly technology used to clean ground water contaminated by dense chemical compounds. Engineers at the Kennedy Space Center developed the technology to clean up pollution caused by chlorinated solvents used to clean Apollo rocket parts. This technology is now used at both government and private industry cleanup sites.

Weston Solutions, West Chester, Pa.; GeoSyntec, Guelph, Ontario, Canada; and the University of Central Florida, Orlando; also will be inductees for developing the technology. The Emulsified Zero-Valent Iron technology also was recognized as NASA’s Government Invention of the Year and Commercial Invention of the Year in 2005.

Dr. Jacqueline W. Quinn, environmental engineer, and Kathleen B. Brooks, materials scientist, will receive individual awards for their work at Kennedy on the Emulsified Zero-Valent Iron technology.

The transfer of NASA technology to the private sector is managed through NASA’s Innovative Partnerships Program. To learn more about the program, visit:


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