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 estimate that spinoffs have generated at least $7 in taxes and economic growth for every $1 the government has invested in NASA’s programs [source: Gaudin]. The precise return is hard to measure. Though it has pushed the boundaries of both knowledge and technology, NASA isn’t a big part of the government’s… Read full this story
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