Barbara Askins was born in 1939 in Belfast, Tennessee. In 1979, Askins was the first individual women to be named National Inventor of the Year. She developed a method to enhance underexposed photographic negatives that were basically useless by using radiology. Askins process was employed by NASA, as well as by the medical industry in the development of X-rays. NASA was able to use this process to gather data from underexposed images such as those from deep space. Within the medical industry, physicians were able to read X-rays that were previously unreadable, and, in addition, patients were exposed reduced amounts of radiation. Askins received a patent for her invention in 1978. This invention continues to be used extensively by NASA in their research and development departments.
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