NASA has invented or improved on many products that we use every day. See more space exploration pictures. Hemera/Thinkstock In order to send men to the moon or land a research vehicle on Mars, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) had to invent and develop many high-tech equipment and materials. By law, the agency is required to disseminate that technology for private use [source: NASA Scientific Spinoff]. Hundreds of NASA innovations have been incorporated into commercial products. It's likely that you've used one or more of these high-tech NASA spinoffs yourself. NASA makes it easy for companies to use its scientific and technical information. It encourages spinoffs through its Commercial Technology Transfer Network. Ten Commercial Technology offices around the country help get the word out about what technology is available [source: O'Rangers]. Since 1976, more than 1,300 NASA technology spinoffs have reached the market [source: Beith]. NASA boosters … [Read more...] about What high-tech products came from NASA technology?
Astronaut Image Gallery Material used to insulate astronauts' space suits later formed the basis of the space blanket. See more astronaut pictures. Hemera/Thinkstock Outer space can be very cold or very hot -- or both. Solar radiation is intense, but objects in the dark lose heat quickly. The temperature can vary by 275 degrees Fahrenheit (135 degrees Celsius) from one side of an object to the other [source: NASA Temperature]. As a result, scientists at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) have had to come up with ways to warm, cool and insulate people and equipment. The law requires NASA to promote the technologies it invents and develops for commercial use. Over the years, more than 1,300 NASA spinoffs have gone into commercial products. NASA engineers' efforts to tame the temperature extremes of space have created technologies that help keep us warm right here on earth. The space blanket is probably the best-known NASA spinoff for keeping you warm. It was … [Read more...] about What NASA technology helps keep you warm?
Start the Countdown Astronaut Image Gallery NASA and Nikon teamed up in the 1960s to develop cameras with some of the automatic features we enjoy today. See more astronaut pictures. Getty Images We watch NASA astronauts in awe, day-dreaming of catapulting into space -- even if only for a moment of weightless existence. Most of us feel far removed from outer space, watching from the sidelines as the space agency shines a light on our mysterious universe. But we may not be as far removed as we think. Since its inception in 1958, NASA's laundry list of accomplishments includes the first American in space in 1961, the first man to walk on the moon in 1969, a flight to Jupiter in 1972 and the installation of the International Space Station in 1998. (Read NASA's 10 Greatest Achievements to learn more.) Eight percent of all the world's inventions have come, in some form, from NASA research [source: NASA 360]. The organization's technology keeps the United States globally … [Read more...] about 5 Types of NASA Technology in Your Attic
Start the Countdown NASA technology isn't just for space exploration. Image courtesy of NASA You may already be aware of the many amazing products that were invented as a result of NASA research (and no, Tang isn't one of them). After all, NASA doesn't just exist to explore space -- since its creation in 1958, the organization's mission has also been to find ways of improving our lives here on Earth. NASA works with a number of companies and research teams across the country to develop concepts that advance technology in a variety of fields, from healthcare to entertainment. Since 1976, NASA has even published a journal called "Spinoff," which details the various commercial products and technologies that started out as NASA ideas. The fact that some of this technology led to great, everyday products makes perfect sense -- you can probably see a correlation between NASA applications and things like improved telecommunications, memory foam mattresses and cordless power … [Read more...] about 5 Strange Items Developed from NASA Technology
Virtual Reality Image Gallery Head-mounted displays are often a key feature of virtual reality systems, creating a realistic visual environment for the wearer. See more virtual reality pictures. Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Thinkstock Newfangled, digital 3-D movies are exceedingly popular these days. But those Hollywood blockbusters are just the latest trend in a long line of virtual reality experiences that began ages ago. To get closer to the genesis of virtual reality, you have to dig up history that's far older than James Cameron's "Avatar". For our purposes, the term virtual reality (also known as VE, or virtual environment) refers to technologies that immerse a person in an artificial environment that seems at least partially real, and may involve user interactivity. A 3-D movie, for example, is a form of virtual reality because it provides more visual depth for our eyes than a regular, 2-D film. And an interactive video game system, such as a Nintendo Wii, that uses motion … [Read more...] about Who invented virtual reality technology?