For more than 50 years, NASA has not stopped inventing. Actually, they have been forced to do so, since it has been the only way to ensure their astronauts have the technology necessary to do your job. But, obviously, these inventions have not been limited to their use in space, but have ended up being shared with the world. These that we see below are some of the most widespread in homes around the planet.
What would we do without them? Putting ourselves templates is most useful and it is something we should thank NASA for. These first insoles they invented were intended to make astronauts’ journey into space more bearable, to have greater range of motion, and to better control their feet. The result had such an impact that the idea was transferred to all the footwear that people wear, although with greater flexibility in the materials.
The astronauts used the first insoles that were made of materials such as silicone rubber, which took care of giving that added comfort that NASA was looking for. These early insoles also had a set of 25 Kapton layers that made sure to provide maximum thermal insulation.
Today it may seem like the most normal thing in the world to open the faucet at home and let the water go through some sort of filter so you can enjoy it in a more natural way. It can be a filter jug, a tube on the faucet or many other systems. Long ago, it would be unthinkable, but today it is the most natural. And the truth is that it is something created thanks to NASA.
The idea of the filter did not come from its engineers, but the way to carry it out did. They worked on it in the 60s for the Apollo Program with the intention of ensuring that the water was kept drinkable The most time possible. They concluded that using charcoal as an absorption system could remove contaminants from the water. Nowadays, systems are used that take as a reference the way in which they managed to take advantage of the charcoal to keep the water free of impurities.
The controls of the arcade machines or the joysticks that are used in video games and in cars or planes, find their origin in NASA. Although there was a previous concept, it was an idea too far from what ended up becoming the joystick thanks to the spatial entity. They invented it as a control system in the Apollo rover, using a system that sought comfort and precision.
The first joystick was T-shaped that had a total of six motors, four of them dedicated to movement and two to set the direction. Its use was very popular and they reached be applied in different space missions until the models were finished improving with more advanced technology. But society continued to take advantage of them in many contexts as you may have already seen.
Until NASA felt the need for it in the 1960s, tool manufacturers hadn’t considered removing the cables. But the agency needed a wrench that would allow bolts to be turned without affecting the astronaut’s stability. They invented it collaborating with Black+Decker and it was just the first of many cordless tools that were subsequently invented. For example, they soon made a jackhammer that they used on the surface of the Moon to collect samples from it.
Today, cordless tools that only rely on rechargeable batteries, They are very common. Surely you have one at home in your toolbox, since its comfort and flexibility simplify everything.
It is very likely that you have a mattress of this type or a pillow, because it is a structure that provides great comfort and that can make a difference when you sleep. NASA was the one who invented it, in this case in the 70s, as a way to find a way in which airplane pilots had a more comfortable seat from which to do their work.
Later this technology was also taken into space and became a way in which astronauts traveled much more comfortably. Memory foam is easy to find these days in all kinds of stores and even at prices that are not so high when you think that it was the same technology used by astronauts.
scratch resistant glasses
One of NASA’s first ideas for visors to be worn by astronauts in space was the use of plastic. It had advantages, such as that they did not break when dropped, but they encountered various difficulties that pushed them to look for an alternative. This is how they came to the conclusion that they had to invent a type of glass not suffer the effect of scratches.
This system that NASA developed for the astronauts’ visors has been applied over the years to the glasses that you can buy at any optician’s. The Ray-Ban brandfor example, is known for using exactly the same technology in its sunglasses as used by the first astronauts who enjoyed these resistant lenses.
Other of his inventions
There are many other inventions that you most likely have on hand that originate from NASA. For example, NASA started using red LEDs, taking advantage of them in different applications, such as with the intention of growing plants in space. They were also the inventors of ear thermometers, and the engineers who came up with the idea of using aluminized polyester to achieve first-rate thermal insulation.
Other of his inventions include some of the first wireless headphones, freeze-dried food, the smoke detector or even the computer mouse. As you may have seen, it was not an exaggeration when we told you that you surely have some of his inventions at home! And most importantly, NASA continues to develop new technology that, who knows, may be in our homes in the future as well.