3 Nebraskan Innovations Making Their Way Around the Globe

NASA RockSat-X Launch

Nebraskans have been making the news right and left lately with advances in manufacturing, engineering, and science that are crossing our state borders and making appearances in the rest of the country and the world.

Here are a few of the noteworthy appearances. If there’s any we missed, please leave a comment in the section below! Our state is a great place to be to witness big dreams and new ideas.

UNL Team Builds Experiment for Virginia Rocket Launch: Next Friday, UNL’s RockSat-X team will be working with NASA at the Wallops Flight Facility in eastern Virginia to track a 14-minute flight of the Terrier-Improved Malemute sounding rocket blastoff. This sounding rocket is used by NASA to test individual rocket or satellite components, and is an outstanding opportunity for the UNL chapter of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

For students who want to be aerospace engineers, this is virtually invaluable. In addition to technical skills that will make the engineers involved successful in their future careers, students also practice working on a team. According to freshman Mary Rethwisch: “In my research last summer, I was working alone most of the time. Working in a team is really great, especially for learning communication skills and seeing how everyone brings their different ideas to the table,” she told the Journal-Star. The club is currently looking to begin a Kickstarter and drive for funds so that they can continue working on these types of projects, but for now, they’ll be pleased to have been a part of an incredible research experience.

Omaha Provides Features for the Golden Gate Bridge: On the other side of the country from eastern Virginia, a little piece of Nebraska will be making its way to the iconic Golden Gate in San Francisco. The Omaha-based Lindsay Corporation installed a new 2-mile long barrier to separate opposing lanes of traffic on the bridge.

The company is best known for their irrigation systems in the Midwest, but the company’s irrigation transportation division provided zipper systems trucklike machines that move a row of connected, 1,500 pound barriers across an entire lane of traffic to install the system. Previously, the traffic was merely separated by 19-inch plastic tubes that easily allowed vehicles to cross into another lane of traffic. Lindsay Corp. has certainly done their part to prevent that from happening again, as the new barrier system steps up its game with 3,500 individual barriers filled with concrete and fastened together.

Monument to Nebraska Native in France:This hasn’t happened quite yet, but Representative Jeff Fortenberry is working on raising the funds to erect a memorial to Colombus native Andrew Higgins on the beaches of Normandy in France. Higgins designed the landing craft that ferried the troops onto the Normandy beaches, manufactured precisely to maneuver through obstacles German troop had placed on the French beaches. Gen. Dwight Eisenhower even praised Higgins as the man who won the war.

Nebraska artist Fred Hoppe will sculpt new statues that represent a Higgins boat and three WWII-era soldiers to honor the technological advances that made such a difference.

Products made in Nebraska don’t have to stay within the state, and often, they don’t. These are just three of many thousands of products made here in the state and shipped all over the world. When you join Nebraska manufacturers, you’re not just making a product–you’re having an impact all around the world!

Photo credit: NASA