How NASA accidentally found a way to make buildings safer during earthquakes

NASA technologists are typically focused on making it safe for humans to explore outer space. Now the space agency says it’s found a way to make earthquakes safer for people on the ground. NASA developed a new stabilizing technology, known as the LOX Damper, in 2013 after working on a violently shaking rocket. Testing revealed that the Ares rocket, a crew launch vehicle, would shake so hard during ascent that it could harm astronauts on board. So one NASA team experimented with controlling the heaviest part of the rocket—its fuel. That got the team thinking: If this technique worked on a rocket, why not a building? A fascinating read on Quartz.

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How NASA accidentally found a way to make buildings safer during earthquakes

NASA technologists are typically focused on making it safe for humans to explore outer space. Now the space agency says it’s found a way to make earthquakes safer for people on the ground. NASA developed a new stabilizing technology, known as the LOX Damper, in 2013 after working on a violently shaking rocket. Testing revealed that the Ares rocket, a crew launch vehicle, would shake so hard during ascent that it could harm astronauts on board. So one NASA team experimented with controlling the heaviest part of the rocket—its fuel. That got the team thinking: If this technique worked on a rocket, why not a building? A fascinating read on Quartz.

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