Images: NASA looks back on 2008
Often, the research conducted at NASA creates breakthroughs in unexpected fields. This year, swimmers broke world and Olympic records in droves, thanks in part to a cutting-edge swimsuit developed by Speedo. Swimmers wearing the company's LZR Racer suit, including Americans Michael Phelps and Natalie Coughlin, set dozens of world records at the Beijing Olympics.
Those two swimmers helped in the development of the suit, as did a few researchers at NASA's Langley Research Center. Langley has conducted tests for drag reduction of vehicles like aircraft and boats for decades. But Speedo asked them to use their low-speed wind tunnel to test potential fabrics and determine which would create the least amount of drag on a swimmer.
Here, NASA engineer Steve Wilkinson sorts through more than 60 fabrics Speedo sent for testing in Langley's low-speed wind tunnel.
December 19, 2008 3:57 PM PST
Photo by: NASA/Sean Smith
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