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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

 

15 everyday household products invented by NASA - Houston Chronicle

By Jonathan Cheng

"There's more space in your life than you think." That's a line from William Shatner's public service announcement for NASA Spinoff, the adaptation of space technology to everyday life. Under the Space Act of 1958, NASA's research and technological innovations must benefit everyone, not just astronauts. Since then, the space agency has produced a continual flow of inventions and discoveries, many of which we use without giving thought to where they came from. Among them are products that help us eat, drink, walk, work and even sleep better. The NASA Spinoff website has archives of items developed over the years and related features, including a Spinoff coloring book. One of the newer spinoff products are sensors that are placed among plants to help regulate irrigation. When a plant needs water, it sends a text message to the grower to say, essentially, "I'm thirsty." In the mid-1970s, NASA engineers at the Johnson Space Center developed protective gear for firefighters that was about one-third lighter than what they had previously used. The new suit offered better fit and visibility, according to NASA. An adaptation of the spacesuit upgrade was applied to athletic shoes, leading to creation of the Nike Air, which put a a pad of interconnected air cells under the heel and forefoot, NASA said. Memory foam, also known as temper foam, was developed under a NASA contract in the 1970s that set out to improve seat cushioning and crash protection for airline pilots and passengers. Beside mattresses and pillows, memory foam has widespread commercial applications, NASA said. Although NASA is often credited with developing Tang, Teflon and Velcro, those are not space program spinoffs. According to NASA, astronauts raised the profile of those products by using them in orbit, but they were all developed before the first American blasted into space.

http://www.chron.com/news/nation-world/space/article/If-you-like-your-memory-foam-mattress-thank-NASA-5885988.php