Gifts from space exploration

A lot of people don’t understand why space exploration is important and criticize governments for spending so much money on space programs. We constantly hear things like “we shouldn’t spend money on space exploration and should be putting that money towards health care or poverty”. We couldn’t disagree more, not only does space exploration advance human kind as a whole but there are literally 1000’s of inventions that owe their discovery from the worlds space programs. So sit back as we show you some that you are probably using already.


Scratch resistance glasses


Dirt and particles found in space environments are hazardous to most materials, especially glass.

NASA needed a special coating to protect space equipment, particularly astronaut helmet visors. Recognizing an opportunity, the Foster-Grant sunglasses manufacturer licensed the NASA technology for its products.

The special plastics coating made its sunglasses ten times more scratch-resistant than uncoated plastics.


Infrared thermometer


some of you may not be old enough to remember the old mercury thermometers or even worst the rectal thermometer!

NASA uses their infrared technology to measure distance stars temperatures but the same technology was adapted to accurately measure the temperature in the ear canal.

Invisible Braces


It’s an unlikely one but invisible braces. Invisible braces are made of translucent polycrystalline alumina developed by Ceradyne in conjunction with NASA Advanced Ceramics Research to protect the infrared antennae of heat-seeking missile trackers.

Although never intended for braces the TPA material was perfect for the application.


Memory Foam Mattresses


the open cell polyurethane-silicon plastic was created for use in NASA aircraft seats to lessen impact during landings. The plastic has a unique property that allows it to evenly distribute the weight and pressure on top of it, which provides shock absorbency.

So next time you wake up from a great night’s sleep on your memory foam mattress remember to thank human space exploration.


The Modern Sneaker 


The space suit designed for the Apollo missions included specially-made boots that put a spring in astronaut’s steps while providing ventilation.

Athletic shoe companies have taken this technology and adopted it to construct better shoes that lessen the impact on your feet and legs.

Long Distance Communication

Using satellite technology you are able to speak to almost anyone around the globe at any time, this is almost a given now but not long ago this was pure science fiction.

Around 200 communication satellites orbit the globe each day and these satellites send and receive messages that allow us to call our friends or family not matter where they are.

NASA monitors the locations and health of many of these satellites to ensure that we can continue to talk to people around the corner or overseas.


The Smoke Detector


The smoke detector is now as common as horse faecal matter but this little invention was only developed back in the 70’s.

NASA needed a way to detected smoke or harmful gases in the original space station Skylab but it wasn’t long before it was adapted for home and industrial use.


Carbon Water Filters


Clean water, it’s essential for life and a lot of us have carbon water filters in our kitchen but it all started with NASA.

This charcoal is specially activated and contains silver ions that neutralize pathogens in the water. Along with killing bacteria in the water, the filters also prevent further bacterial growth.


This is only the tip of the ice berg, if you want to learn more about what inventions we have space exploration to thank for then check out this Wikipedia page

So next time someone starts winging about how much money governments and private organisations spend on space exploration, you set them straight or send them to us and we will 🙂

Stay Curious – C.Costigan

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