Proving once again that the world of motorsports is an environment where new technology is born and tested each day, NASA (like, the space-walk people) are getting together with the folks at HANS to improve safety for the next generation of astronauts.
Since hitting the scene several years ago, the HANS device (or an equivalent) has become mandatory equipment for most every top-level racing series in the world, lending a lot of credence into its design and performance.
It’s pretty neat to see auto racing and space travel hook up. I guess we’re all just hot rodders at heart, some of us just have bigger toys that others. The full press release for the project is below.
1/11/2009 — HANS Performance Products is working with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and NASCAR on proven ways to help protect NASA’s future generation of astronauts.
NASA recognizes that recent improvements in racing safety can help protect crewmembers while in space and returning to earth. Working with Dr. Bob Hubbard, inventor of the HANS Device, NASA is cooperating with NASCAR to simulate racing crashes and to expand and refine injury assessment and protection technologies.
Dr. Hubbard said “Energy management and rapid body motions are something we really understand.” He continued, “NASA wants to know how the principles and practices learned in auto racing can improve the effectiveness of similar restraint systems used in spacecraft. There is no doubt we are contributing significantly to crew safety.”
NASA plans to use knowledge gained in auto racing to help them improve protection for future spacecraft, including the Orion Crew Vehicle which is expected to return Americans to the moon as early as 2020.
HANS Performance Products CEO Mark Stiles had a final word: “Whether returning from the moon, racing down a quarter mile or lapping a racetrack, astronauts and racing drivers require advanced safety systems like those developed by HANS Performance Products.”
The HANS Device is worn by more than 65,000 racers worldwide and continues to be the #1 choice for performance, #1 for vision and #1 for winners.