Space Program Inventions used Everyday

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The space program has produced a ton of spin-offs for everyday use that have benefited our lives tremendously!  A common misconception is that Tang was invented by NASA, but that isn't true.  Actually, Tang was used in space by our astronauts for the ease of  transport and use, but that's it.  It was on the market already.  But there are other inventions specifically designed for use in space because of the strict requirements of zero-gravity.

According to the How Things Work website, some of those inventions are used by us everyday and are quite handy.  How about the water filter?  Clean water is imperative for good health, and especially for use in space.  The water filter uses charcoal and silver ions that when activated neutralize pathogens that can harm health.  Sickness from dirty water is a big no-no, but is especially dangerous in space and could jeopardize a multi-million dollar mission.  We all benefit from clean water, and water filter technology was perfected by the scientists and engineers who work for the space program.

There is one handy tool I can't live without, and that is the cordless vacuum cleaner!  This is such a great invention, and when there are dust-balls gathering in the house it's so much easier to whip out the hand-held vacuum rather than drag the big floor model out.  This handy device was invented to vacuum that pesky moon-dust from the interior of the lunar-lander.  Any foreign specks of dust might clog the sensitive equipment inside the space-craft, and could spell a death sentence for our astronauts on the moon.  Remember, if there was a problem lifting off from the surface of the moon because of malfunctioning equipment, no rescue missions were in place to save the astronauts.  The moon would be their final resting place.....

The smoke detector was imperative for the Skylab missions back in the middle seventies.  Fire is dangerous but especially in space, and the astronauts needed to know immediately if there were any noxious gases or particles of smoke in the interior of the cabin.  Hence, the common smoke detector.

We can thank the moon-boot for the insoles of our sneakers!  NASA needed to put a spring in the step of the astronauts and their specially designed suits, and this technology has been transferred to our foot-wear today.  Because of this invention, our feet and legs have a lesser impact when we walk!

And last but not least is the memory-foam that is used by the Tempurpedic mattress company!  Memory-foam was invented to lessen the impact of landing and is used not only in the seats of the space shuttle, but for airliners as well.  The material has the unique ability to distribute weight and pressure evenly and also provide shock absorbency.  That famous commercial with the glass of wine on the end of the bed while the person is jumping and it's not spilling is true!  My wife and I bought the Tempurpedic mattress and we used a glass of water (we were out of wine!), and it works!

These are just some of the numerous, helpful inventions that have spun off from the space program.  Society can thank the intensive research that went into developing these and other products that we all use today.  In fact, NASA has filed over 6000 patents for inventions specifically designed for the space program!  So we might see some new and interesting products enter the marketplace soon!

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