Used for everything from communications and spying to research and development, with around 200 NASA satellites orbiting the Earth everyday, this technology has made it possible for us to stay in touch with people on the other side of the globe instantaneously.
NASA formed a 28-member union called the Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology. Its goal was to build a remotely piloted aircraft, made to fly unmanned at high altitudes. The technology was to be flown using solar power so as to not add weight to the aircraft. Because of this invention, millions of homes are now equipped with crystal silicon solar power trimming down traditional energy expenses and reducing pollution.
Ventricular Assist Device
NASA, in collaboration with Dr. Michael DeBakey, Dr. George Noon, and MicroMed Technology, invented a heart pump for patients waiting for a heart transplant. A heart donor is very difficult to come by so while the patient is on queue, the Ventricular Assist Device pumps blood until a heart donor is available.
Kids with braces have to endure taunts about being a geek and nerd. That is why this NASA Discovery come in so handy to those who don’t want to go through the ordeal of having a mouth full of visible metal. Invisible Braces translucent polycrystalline alumina was created by NASA Advanced Ceramics Research in collaboration with a company called Ceradyne to protect the infrared antenna of heat-seeking missile trackers.
NASA needed a special coating to protect space equipment from dirt found in the space environment so they came up with their special plastics coating. Now, we’re enjoying sunglasses that are resistant to scratches. What’s better, plastic is cheaper than glass and is better at absorbing ultraviolet radiation.
Infrared Ear Thermometers
NASA uses infrafred technology to measure the temperature of stars. With this technology, we now have the ear thermometer which captures our body temperature using infrared sensors that detect the amount of energy given off by the eardrum. We’ve been saved from the hassle of a standard mercury thermometer which is a little difficult to read.
When man landed on the moon, NASA invented a three-dimensional polyurethane foam fabric in boots to set a spring in the astronauts’ stride while giving ventilation. Now, we have shoes that reduce the impact on our legs and feet when we go walking/running.
NASA invented the first adjustable smoke detector to let astronauts know if there was fire or if noxious gases were loose in Skylab, the first US space station. Now, we’re enjoying safety from fire in our homes thanks to this technology.
When man was about to land on the Moon, NASA needed equipment astronauts could use to get rock and soil samples. The tool needed to be lightweight and powerful enough to drill into the moon’s surface. NASA, together with Black and Decker, figured out that attaching a cord to a drill would be difficult for the astronauts so they invented a battery-operated motor drill. Now, cordless tools abound because of this invention.
Enriched Baby Food
NASA discovered an microalgae that they used as a recycling agent for extended travel to space. The substance, formulated into the products life’s DHA and life’s ARA and based on the microalgae, is now used as a nutritional ingredient found in commercial infant formulas.
NASA did major research on space food in preparation for the Apollo missions, and together with Nestle, came up with Freeze Drying – a process that involves dehydration of food to make it more convenient for transport. Food is frozen and the surrounding pressure is reduced to allow the frozen water in food to sublimate directly from the solid phase to the gas phase.
PS300, a solid lubricant coating was developed by NASA. It is deposited by thermal spraying which protects foil air bearings. PS300,with its ability to reduce friction and emissions, has been widely used in industrial applications such as refrigeration compressors, turbochargers, and hybrid electrical turbogenerators.