NASA required a lot of engineering and innovation for the development of their projects in the outer space. While they were working on items for their use, they ended up keeping the foundations of various products that are now used commercially. However, if traced back to origins, NASA is the founding father of all of these techs.
Watch the list below to find out which technologies were developed by NASA and are now available commercially.
Baby formula was created as a part of an experiment called CELSS (Closed Environment Life Support System) program for NASA. This was done to see if the algae produced can be used as a recycling agent for long-duration space travel or not. The formula is considered highly beneficial to infant mental and visual development and is also an excellent dietary supplement.
Space shuttle fuel pumps led to the development of a miniaturized ventricular assist pump by NASA and renowned heart surgeon Dr. Michael DeBakey. The tiny pump is only 5cm long and 2.5cm in diameter and weighs only 113 grams. The MicroMed DeBakey VAD is a ventricular assist device that functions as a bridge to heart transplant by pumping blood throughout the body to keep critically ill patients alive until a donor’s heart is made available.
NASA developed this technology to prolong plant growth in space without using filters. Later on, it was designed by a company for use to protect perishable foods from fowling by removing the waste gases.
NASA’s work to study rodents in Zero-G in the International Space Station has led to the development of new drugs to tackle the bone loss on Earth. Sclerostin antibody under development by Amgen for Osteoporosis was validated on Space Shuttle and Space Station Missions. During human trials, the drug reduced vertebral fractures by 68% and hip fractures by 40%.
Special Skin Cream
NASA was able to produce agents from human fibroblasts. This bioreactor was initially developed to replicate microgravity conditions in a laboratory. NASA began producing a cosmetic skin care product which was infused with the NASA bioreactor made fibroblasts to promote skin repair and rejuvenation. The product is called Re-Juvel and can be used by both men and women.
Bi-Polar Forceps For Brain Surgery
Bi-polar forceps are used during delicate surgery where precision and reliability are vitally important. These tools use electricity to cut and cauterize the patient’s tissues. However, there was a problem with the heat production, which risked damaging the locally healthy tissues. NASA found a solution to draw this excess heat away by using heat pipe.
Spare Space Shuttle Fuel In Landmine Removal Devices
Space Shuttle Rocket Fuel is excellent for the removal of landmines. In the 1990s, the leftover Shuttle Fuel was turned into flares which destroyed the mines where they are buried without the use of any explosives.
The dustbuster was developed initially as a part of NASA’s Apollo Space Mission. The tech was designed with the help of Black and Decker. This led to the development of many handheld power tools including the Dustbuster which was released in 1979.
Magnetic Fluid Speakers
NASA had to solve the problem of moving liquid fuel from the engine without using gravity. The solution was to magnetize the liquid with small particles of iron oxide and move it around using magnetic fields. The technology was later used in 2012 by the Sony Corporation which led to the development of slim speakers. They produce louder, cleaner sound than others of the same size.
Scratch Resistant Lenses
NASA and the Foster-Grant Corporation developed these lenses. Before these lenses were produced, the previous ones were made of ground and polished glass. The FDA passed a regulation which required the sunglasses and prescription lenses to be shatter resistant.
A NASA Engineer Dr. Lonnie Johnson developed Super Soaker. He got the idea while experimenting with refrigeration systems in his bathroom. He was funded by the Larami Toy Company in 1989 and went on sale as Power Drencher in 1990. Finally, it was changed to Super Soaker in 1991.
Modern digital cameras have their origins to the work of NASA and JPL. Engineer Eric Fossum was behind the development for interplanetary NASA missions and other NASA programs like Hubble Space Telescope. He developed complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) image sensors which have now become a commonly used item in the public domain.
Wireless communication headset was initially developed for astronauts during the Apollo Program and was used for carrying Neil Armstrong famous words from the Moon. The technology was refined and miniaturized so that it can be used by airline pilots during the 1970s. The technology has further developed and is still used in the routine.