How NASA Has Improved Your Home & Lifestyle

These days, treating yourself to a brand new, super comfy memory foam mattress isn’t anything out of the ordinary, but have you ever wondered where this tremendous material came from? Or what about that fancy cordless vacuum cleaner that you’ve decided you can’t live without? Surprisingly, a large number of everyday household items which are largely taken for granted, started life as a NASA concept to aid in space travel. NASA has provided us with more home and life improvements than you may realize, changing the way we live beyond recognition and often for the better.
Check out the slides below for a neat selection of household items that have been created as a result of product development by NASA. But that’s not all, NASA have also influenced the production of water filters, insulation fibres, smoke detectors, scratch-resistant lenses and better golf balls!
Whilst developing life support for Mars missions, NASA-funded researchers discovered a fungus capable of synthesising two omega-3 fatty acids found primarily in breast milk. These compounds are now found in over 90% of infant formula.
In order to collect lunar samples under the influence of reduced gravity, NASA contracted Black & Decker to create a vacuum drill. The tool had to be lightweight, powerful and compact; and paved the way for the cordless vacuum cleaner.
It’s a no-brainer – extended space missions require longer-lasting, nutritional food without the need for refrigeration. After plenty of research, NASA perfected the freeze-drying process, allowing food to be kept for weeks at 20% of its original weight whilst keeping 98% of its nutritional value.
Say “cheese!”. We take our smartphones for granted nowadays and it’s never been easier to take a quick photo whilst on the move. But it was NASA who developed the first digital image sensors for the miniature cameras used on interplanetary missions (and maybe for the odd selfie).
Using technology based on NASA spacecraft, ThrustMaster created a joystick accurate enough to be used in training simulators for astronauts as well as on a home computer. Thrustmaster later went on to build control sticks and other tech for the Johnson Space Center.
Initially developed to improve the safety of aircraft and spacecraft cushions and seats, this high density foam softens on contact with body heat, allowing it to mould to a warm, snoozing body in just a few minutes.
Invented by NASA scientist Lonnie Johnson in 1982 whilst considering a pressurized nozzle system for a new type of refrigeration system. Eventually Johnson decided the invention was better suited to an awesome high-powered water gun than a practical (boring) application.
Getting sick in space is no joke! It’s not like you can pop to the pharmacy to get some pills. This is why in the 1960s, NASA teamed up with the Pillsbury Co. to create a new system of quality control in food and food processes, which eventually became the HACCP Food Safety Standards.
When a NASA space shuttle touches down at over 200mph, you better be sure it doesn’t skid or hydroplane on the runway! With safety in mind, NASA invented grooved runways to allow excess surface water to drain away and improve friction by up to 300%!
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