If you think that rocket science, space travel and astronomy is just for people who want to go to the moon or Mars and doesn’t benefit people on Earth, guess again.
Here are 10 everyday items that were invented because of space programs and research:
10. Cordless headphones
Your mobile music and study is made possible because NASA didn’t want their astronauts getting tangled up in wires in space.
9. Memory foam pillows
Your good night’s sleep is because NASA wanted a soft landing for Astronauts when the lunar module touched down on the moon. The special cushioning foam was part of the astronaut’s seats.
8. Ear thermometers
You can take your temperature without sucking a thermometer or pressing it under your armpit, thanks to the infrared technology that measures the amount of energy emitted from the ear drum. Clever!
7. Freeze dried food
Food is heavy! Food, including ice cream, was developed for Apollo missions to the moon. The goal was to keep the nutrition to keep the astronauts healthy, but save on weight. The result: up to 98% of nutritional value, 80% less weight. We can assure you this freeze dried ice cream is delicious – tastes just like the real thing!
PS – you can check out our showbags which include astronaut ice cream. Limited time!
6. Clear braces
If you need clear ceramic braces to help straighten your teeth but look nice and white, the materials came from translucent polycrystalline alumina. It’s very strong and was used by NASA to protect infrared detectors.
5. Camera Phones
Well, if you can’t take a photo to show people, who’s going to give you likes on Instagram? In the 1990s, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory worked to produce small, but scientific quality cameras to go on spacecraft. Now 1/3 of all cameras use this tech.
4. Scratch resistant glasses
Lenses in glasses now have at least 10 times the amount of scratch resistance thanks to a carbon coating. Astronauts had this diamond-like coating on the visors of their space helmets.
3. Long life tyres
Your car tyres can now get an extra 10,000 miles (or 16,000km) of life. The Viking Landers sent to Mars in the 1970s used a material 5 times stronger than steel. This technology is what gives your tyres their long life.
2. Sports shoes
Nike Air shoes use a process called ‘blow rubber molding’, allowing construction of a hollow sole filled with shock absorbing materials. This was first used in making space suits at NASA before pitching the idea to Nike. Do the shoes make YOU feel like you’re walking on the moon?
1. Water filters
When sending astronauts on space missions in the 1960s, NASA knew they’d need to be able to purify water for drinking. They developed an electrolytic silver iodizer to sanitise the water. Now used in our water filters and for purifying pool water.
These are just a few of the innovations that came from space technology. What others can you find? Thanks to the following sources: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 10 Everyday NASA Inventions, NASA Apollo 11 Spinoff.