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The Influence of Space Technology in Our Everyday Lives

Business Technology | July 29, 2011

People around the world watched as the space shuttle Atlantis took its last trip into space last week. This marked the conclusion of NASA’s space shuttle program however the thousands of technologies that were born from the program will stay with us far into the future. We use technologies from the space program at home, work, and while driving.

What comes to mind whenever you consider technologies produced by NASA? Probably rockets, spacesuits, and freeze-dried foods. It may surprise you to discover just how many common uses they have found for technologies originally developed for the space program. NASA releases a yearly periodical, called Spinoff, that is devoted to educating the public about the variety of technologies with origins at NASA that have become commercialized worldwide.

Here are a couple of common items that may surprise you to know wouldn’t exist without NASA’s technology.

Athletic Shoes – A process called blow rubber molding was created to produce space helmets and is now utilized in many running footwear. This process allows companies to produce hollow soles in order to fill them with a shock absorbing material. Nike Air is one common shoe that utilizes this method.

DustBusters – Engineers at Black and Decker created a computer program that enables motors to perform well even when using very little power. Thus the cordless power drill and DustBuster was born.

Smoke Detectors – These were first created for Skylab, America’s first space station, in 1970. They are now so common that you cannot legally build a house without installing them.

The desire to explore space has inspired humans throughout time. The space shuttle program pushed these inspirations into the development of incredible technologies. We will miss the space shuttle but the desire to build bigger and better technology for space travel won’t fade. We’ll probably see many more technologies produced by NASA turning up in our homes, hospitals, and lives for years to come.


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