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Space Inventions That Changed Our Lives

NASA has a long history of innovation and many technologies invented by the the program have landed space age tech in the public domain.

In fact, since 1976 more than 1,300 NASA technology spinoffs have reached the market - with many changing the way we go about our daily lives.

NASA now estimates that spinoffs have generated at least $7 in taxes and economic growth for every $1 the government has invested in NASA's program!

So, TyTek have done some digging into 10 transformative innovations that changed and improved our lives:

Home Insulation

Space is a place of extreme temperatures - so NASA developed insulation from aluminized polyester called Radiant Barrier. It’s used in pretty much every home insulation today!

Camera Phones

In the 1990’s, a team at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) worked to create cameras small enough to fit on spacecraft and with scientific quality. One third of all cameras we use contain this technology.

Memory Foam

Memory foam was first developed by NASA in 1966! The original brief was to make customizable seats for astronauts to alleviate the effects of G forces during takeoff and landing.

Satellite navigation 

Ever wondered how we can make long-distance phone calls and drive our cars to our destinations without ever using those old-fashioned paper things called ‘maps’?! We can thank NASA for that! 

Cordless Vacuum

For a mission to collect lunar samples, NASA contracted Black & Decker to create a vacuum drill, which had to be lightweight, powerful and compact - leading to the invention of the cordless vacuum cleaner. We’re a sucker for this one!

Artificial Limbs

Breakthroughs in artificial muscle systems for use in NASA's space robotic and extravehicular activities meant the creation of sophisticated artificial limbs. Thing has been a life-changing development for amputees!

Comfortable Running Shoes

After inventing a rubber molding process for astronaut helmets, NASA engineers applied the same principal to running shoes!

Water Filtration

NASA developed water filtration systems for astronauts back in the 1970’s, using cartridge filters and iodine.

Invisible Braces

A company working with NASA invented the translucent ceramic that became the critical component of the first “invisible” dental braces, which went on to become one of the best-selling orthodontic products of all time!

Speedy Swimsuit

Wind-tunnel testing at NASA’s Langley Research Center played a key role in the development of Speedo’s Racer swimsuit, proving which materials and seams best reduced drag as a swimmer cuts through the water.

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