Things without which life is unthinkable, like cell phones, rechargeable batteries, television broadcasts, or digital cameras, we often take for granted, without even thinking about the origin of these technologies.Except for the mentioned ones, there are about 30 thousands of others that came out from researches conducted by NASA for the space program.
Here are a few technologies that became a part of our everyday lives.
1. Computer items
Project Apollo and later researches related to space shuttle brought us the best-known by-products, and some origins may surprise many people. The first one is the hard drive which in fact did not directly originate from the space program, but there is a protection in the form of ferrofluid protective layer which is a by-product of the space program. Another by-product is the mouse. It is a descendant of the device patented by NASA for easier manipulation of a bunch of data in their computers. Moreover, if you belong to a group of gamers, then you are using another by-product which is a joystick. It came from a device whose primarily purpose was the management of lunar rover in the Apollo mission.
2. Digital image processing
Experts of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory have patented technology for improving the quality of the picture of the Moon sent by the spacecraft in preparation for Apollo program. Digital image processing technology is a base for recording the interior of the body, primarily magnetic resonance imaging, and the brain.The same laboratory is responsible for one of the two most popular product in medicine, infrared thermometer and pacemaker. The first one was originally developed for observation of distant planets from the Earth, and measuring their temperature by recording infrared radiations.
3. Memory foam mattress
Memory foam was introduced first time in the early 90s of the last century as the Tempur-Pedic. Believe it or not, the original concept of memory foam was created by NASA scientists. They thought this type of foam is the best material to provide comfort for astronauts. If it was right for them, why it would not be okay for sleeping as well? Memory foam mattress is the best fit for individuals who suffer from back pain because the material itself distributes the weight of the body, and does not create any additional pressure on it. Memory foam is durable. In combination with quality bed and adequate slats, it can last up to ten years. Today you can find mattresses of various memory profiles including cold cast, Viscoelastic, and polyurethane foam.
The by-products of NASA are not the only products of the space program that we use in our everyday life. Some technologies and devices are a byproduct of Starfleet and the legendary Enterprise.The series Star Trek was the inspiration to scientists who were trying to transfer a portion of fiction into reality. Managing the computers by pressing the screen, Star Trek and their network were also inspiring touch screen technology. Furthermore, communication with the network in the series is also done and over Personal access display device.
Analysis of the research of US economist says that for every dollar invested in the space program, it goes back at least seven dollars from taxes on purchased equipment and technology that are a byproduct of the program.Every scientist at NASA opens at least five jobs in industries engaged in the production of by-products. When we look at this, then it is easy to figure out that all of those investments are justified.