NASA is frequently chastised for squandering government funds. The $2.5 billion rovers that recently landed on Mars have again thrown this issue into brilliant light.
However, the studies and accomplishments of the Space Program go well beyond spaceflight and into everyday life. Technologies created for space missions have been repurposed for commercial products and services on Earth since the agency’s inception in 1958.
Despite weather delays, NASA’s momentous launch of a SpaceX Crew Dragon — the first American journey into space since the space shuttle’s final voyage nine years ago — has made it a hot topic. The launch is part of a Boeing-NASA partnership that aims to reduce the United States’ reliance on Russian spacecraft while also adding fresh crew members to the International Space Station.
Even with the lack of space missions, NASA has impacted Americans’ lives for the previous nine years. From infant formula to tires, NASA produced a slew of products, technology, and other items that we use every day.
Below are the 20 Lists of NASA Inventions
1 Memory Foam Mattresses
According to the NASA Technology Transfer Program, temper foam, sometimes known as memory foam, was first invented as cushioning to improve crash protection for airplane passengers. Everything from beds and pillows to amusement park rides and horseback saddles now contains it. NASCAR also uses it to make race vehicles safer.
2 Scratch-Resistant Lenses
According to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, one of NASA’s research institutes worked on diamond-hard coatings for aerospace systems when it accidentally developed the coating that makes lenses scratch-resistant.
3 Enriched Baby Formula
According to the NASA Technology Transfer Program, the nutritional enrichment ingredient included in the baby formula was first developed as part of NASA-sponsored research into the possible use of algae as a recycling agent for long-duration space travel. Over 90% of newborn formulae supplied in the United States currently contain the microalgae ingredient.
According to the NASA Technology Transfer Software, Dustbusters, the business built a computer work to improve the drill’s motor and reduce power consumption. That program was spun off to create the Dustbuster, the first cordless tiny vacuum cleaner.
5 Camera Phones
Scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory developed a tiny camera to fit on a spacecraft without losing quality in the 1990s. According to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, its technique is now employed in a third of all cameras.
6 Portable Computers
According to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, the GRiD Compass was the world’s first laptop computer, and it was initially used on a space shuttle mission flown from the Kennedy Space Center in 1983. it is one of the NASA inventions that we utilize regularly.
7 Nike Air Sneakers
According to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the technology used in Nike Air sneakers was originally designed for spacesuits. M. Frank Rudy, a former NASA engineer, patented his “blow rubber molding” method, which Nike exploited to allow runners to “run on air,” according to Gizmodo.
8 Freeze-Dried Fruit
NASA is responsible for freeze-dried snacks. According to the NASA Technology Transfer Program, freeze-drying technology was developed by NASA to make snacks more portable during long Apollo missions. Food is prepared, frozen, and then slowly heated in a vacuum chamber to remove the ice crystals using this method. As a result, food retains 98 percent of its nutritional content while retaining only 20% of its original weight.
9 Foil Blankets
If you’ve ever watched marathon runners crossing the finish line, you’ll notice that many of them wrap themselves in foil blankets. These blankets are used to regulate body temperature, which declines sharply after they are turned off. Not only do these blankets seem futuristic, but they’re also known as space blankets. According to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, foil blankets emerged from a lightweight insulator created by NASA to protect spacecraft and astronauts from extreme temperature drops.
Although astronauts desire beautiful smiles like the rest of us, the technology utilized for invisible braces was not designed with that goal in mind. According to NASA, invisible braces are composed of transparent polycrystalline alumina, which NASA first created to detect heat-seeking missiles.
11 High-Power Solar Cells
NASA is to credit for your cheaper energy bills if you reside in one of the many American homes equipped with crystal silicon solar power cells. According to the NASA Technology Transfer Program, the Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology Alliance collaborated with SunPower Corporation to produce high-performance, low-cost power cells that can power remotely piloted aircraft without adding weight.
12 Pool Water Purification Systems
Pools can be a breeding ground for bacteria, but a water purification system keeps them clean, thanks to NASA. According to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA created an electrolytic silver iodizer in the 1960s to clean drinking water for astronauts, and it’s now used in pools.
13 Ear Thermometers
Parents may use ear thermometers with ill newborns and toddlers to take a temperature measurement. According to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, these thermometers use infrared anatomy technology developed by NASA and Diatek.
14 Ice-Resistant Airplanes
According to the NASA Technology Transfer Program, the planes we fly on can safely fly through ice contacts because of a thermoelectric de-icing device called Thermawing, which NASA scientists created.
15 Precision GPS
Thanks to NASA technology, you can utilize your phone’s GPS even if you have a wireless connection. According to NASA, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory developed precision GPS using data from its global GPS receivers, which is now utilized in many cellphones.
16 Home Insulation
NASA developed Radiant Barrier, aluminized polyester insulation, to fight extremely frigid space temperatures. According to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, it is now utilized in most residential insulation.
17 Cochlear Implants
Adam Kissel, a Kennedy Space Center engineer, was deaf and dissatisfied with the hearing aids that were available at the time. According to NASA, he used his experience working on the electronic, sound, and vibrator sensor systems for the Space Shuttle Program to create early cochlear implant technology that employs electrical impulses rather than sound amplification.
18 Wireless Headphones
According to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA developed wireless headsets to allow astronauts to communicate hands-free and without wires. They now assist non-astronauts in jamming out wirelessly.
19 Safer Highways
Many of us commute to work on highways every day and take for granted the safety grooving in the concrete that improves traction and reduces accidents and injuries. According to the NASA Technology Transfer Program, this grooving technique was developed at NASA’s Langley Research Center to reduce aeroplane accidents on wet runways.
20 Safe Packaged Food
NASA collaborated with Pillsbury to develop a new comprehensive approach to prepackaged food quality control. According to NASA, this quality control approach was created to ensure the safety of meals for spaceflights. Still, it has now evolved into an industry standard that helps maintain food safety for people worldwide.