Industry News: NASA Claims Speedo LZR Racer as Top 10 Story of the Year

WASHINGTON, D.C., December 18. THE National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is currently running a poll to discover what Top 10 NASA-Related Stories made the most impact this year.

Swimsuit technology is one of 10 potential choices in its poll, with the following excerpt explaining NASA's involvement:

NASA Tests Help Record-Breaking Olympians Rocket Through Water
NASA know-how helped swimsuit designers create a body suit worn by an assortment of gold medalists and world record holders at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Among the medalists wearing Speedo's LZR Racer were Americans Michael Phelps — winner of more Olympic gold medals than any athlete in the modern era — and Natalie Coughlin. Aerospace engineer Steve Wilkinson at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., played a role in developing the swimsuit by testing dozens of fabrics in Langley's 7-by-11-inch low speed wind tunnel. Warnaco Inc., the U.S. licensee of the Speedo swimwear brand, approached Langley to test fabric samples because the NASA center has researched drag reduction for aircraft and boats for decades. Just as reducing drag helps planes fly more efficiently, reducing drag helps swimmers go faster. Studies indicate viscous drag or skin friction is almost a third of the total restraining force on a swimmer. Wind tunnel tests measured the drag on the surface of the fabrics. Speedo's research and development team, Aqualab, took the results and used them to help create advanced "space-age" swimsuit designs.

The other choices are the International Space Station's 10th Anniversary, Phoenix Wraps Up Successful Mission to Mars, Ares I Rocket Passes Important Design Milestone, Arctic Sea Ice Decline Continues, Lighting Up the Night (researching the Northern Lights), Hubble Finds Planet Circling a Distant Star, NASA Completes First Texts on Next-Generation Rocket Engine, NASA Team a Recipient of Celebrated Collier Trophy and NASA Returns to the Moon with Instruments on Indiana Spacecraft.


Notify of

Welcome to our community. We invite you to join our discussion. Our community guidelines are simple: be respectful and constructive, keep on topic, and support your fellow commenters. Commenting signifies that you agree to our Terms of Use

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x