In honor of the end of NASA’s 30 Year Space Shuttle program, we came across a list of things invented as a direct result of NASA’s space program!
Check it out!
According to The Independent, here are 50 everyday items we use that were developed by the space program:
1.The hand-held vacuum cleaner
In the early 1980s, a process known as “blow rubber molding” was used to produce space helmets. Using this technology, former Nasa engineer Frank Rudy pitched an idea for an in-trainer shock absorber to the Nike Corporation. He envisaged a trainer with hollow soles filled with shock-absorbing material to cushion the impact of running. Rudy’s idea included a pad of interconnected air cells and the resulting trainer was called the Nike Air.
3.Firefighter breathing apparatus
Before 1971, the average weight of breathing apparatus was more than 30 pounds. Carrying the extra weight was so physically grueling that some firefighters opted to attack flames without any equipment. However, engineers at Nasa adapted the life-support systems used in spacesuits for use by emergency services. Four years later, experts had designed apparatus that weighed a third less and offered better fit and visibility.
4.Blankets for marathon runners
In 1964, Nasa developed a material capable of reflecting heat very effectively – a thin sheet of plastic coated with a metallic reflecting agent, usually gold or silver in color. Used as a blanket, it reflects about 80 per cent of the wearer’s body-heat back to them. It’s used to keep accident victims warm, and by marathon runners after the finish.
Nasa researchers discovered that cutting thin grooves across concrete runways reduces the risk of an aircraft aquaplaning after landing. Excess water drains along the grooves, increasing tire friction in wet conditions. The expertise has been adopted by airport operating authorities around the world.
Pill transmitters swallowed by astronauts to check their temperature and blood pressure are undergoing trials to be used as a way to monitor the health of fetuses in the womb. These pill-shaped gadgets can be used to monitor body temperature, pressure and other vital signs.
7.Faster racing cars
Carbon fiber was invented by the British in the 1960s (at the Royal Aircraft Establishment, Farnborough), but was given a boost by its use in space flight. Carbon-fiber-reinforced graphite is used in the nose cone of the Space Shuttle. Strong, light and heat resistant, it is found in everything from tennis rackets to Formula One racing cars
8.The roof of the Millennium Dome
A flexible yet durable Teflon-coated fiberglass material was developed in the 1970s for use on astronauts’ spacesuits. Teflon-coated fiberglass is now used for the roofs of many buildings worldwide, including the Dome in London.
It may seem strange, but the green movement owes a debt of gratitude to the rockets that blasted off into space. Efficient solar-power technologies – in which silicon crystals grown in a laboratory convert light into electrical energy – were first developed by Nasa in the early 1980s. The same technology is now widely used by companies manufacturing solar panels.
10.Personal storm warning system