Imagine never having to wash your windows again. That would be a huge boon not only for window washers on skyscrapers, but for astronauts on the space shuttle or space station. It may become a reality, thanks to the lotus plant.

Science Daily reported on work by a company in Atlanta that has developed a transparent coating for glass that renders it impervious to dirt and water.  The secret: imitating the surface of a lotus leaf, which “contains innumerable tiny spikes that greatly reduce the area on which water and dirt can attach.” NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center is taking a keen interest in this technology, because it can “prevent dirt from accumulating on the surfaces of spacesuits, scientific instruments, robotic rovers, solar array panels, and other hardware used to gather scientific data or carry out exploratory activities on other objects in the solar system.” The latest work seeks to manufacture the material such that it can withstand the harsh space environment….

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