INVENTIONS WE WOULDN’T HAVE WITHOUT SPACE TRAVEL
With NASA’s Perseverance landing on Mars just a couple weeks ago, the age-old debate has once again surfaced: “Why spend all that money to explore other planets, when there are so many problems right here on Earth?” Here are a few reasons. Without space travel, we wouldn’t have . . .
- Camera Phones: Today’s tech was developed in the 90s in a quest for scientific quality cameras small enough to fit on spacecraft.
- CAT Scans: The Jet Propulsion Laboratory played a lead role in developing the technology, which in turn led to CAT scanners and radiology.
- LEDs: Red LEDs are used in space to grow plants, and to heal humans on Earth.
- Athletic Shoes: Nike Air trainers wouldn’t exist if a NASA engineer hadn’t pitched the idea when working on space suit technology.
- Dust Busters: NASA asked Black & Decker to come up with a lightweight device to collect moon samples. That lead to the Dustbuster in 1979.
- Ear Thermometers: NASA and Diatek developed the aural thermometer, which uses infrared astronomy tech to measure the energy emitted by the ear drum.
- The Jaws of Life: This uses a mini version of the explosive charge used to separate devices on the Space Shuttle.
- Wireless Headsets: NASA developed these to allow astronauts to be hands-free without wires.
- Baby Formula: It now contains a nutritional enrichment ingredient which can be traced back to NASA research into the use of algae during space travel.
- Portable Computers – and the Computer Mouse: Yup. Inspired by, and developed for space travel.