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8 Ways NASA Has Improved Your Everyday Life

Russian cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev photographed the super Moon at the International Space Station on Aug 10. (Sina.com)
Russian cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev photographed the super Moon at the International Space Station on Aug 10. (Sina.com)

Have you ever said that NASA is a waste of taxpayers money? Ever wondered how space exploration could impact your daily life?  The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was created in 1958 and has over 6,300 patents to its name.

A large amount of technology that was developed for space has also been introduced here on Earth.

Here are just a few examples:

1. Ear thermometer

The technology was developed by NASA for missions that included the Infra-red Astronomical Satellite (IRAS). IRAS was used to measure the temperature of stars and planets by reading the infra-red radiation that emitted from them. The thermometer determined body temperature by measuring the energy that is emitted from the eardrum.

4 awesome NASA inventions you use every day:

2. Invisible braces

Invisible dental braces are made from transparent polycrystalline alumina (TPA), which was developed for missile work. TPA is stronger than steel, has a translucent appearance, is smooth and round, and has properties that resist breakage.

3. Cordless power tools

NASA asked Black & Decker to build a drill that was small, lightweight, and battery powered. The drill ended up being developed for builders and then for general home use.

4. Scratch-resistant lenses

Astronauts needed something to protect their eyesight because of the changes in the atmosphere in space. So NASA created a film of diamond-like carbon (DLC) which is applied to the lenses of glasses, making them scratch-resistant.

Top 10 surprising things NASA helped invent:

5. Memory foam

Also known as temper foam, it is found in many mattresses and pillows. It was developed under a NASA contract in the 1970s in a effort to improve seat cushioning and crash protection for their pilots and passengers.

6. Water filters

NASA engineers developed the water purification system, which provides the clean water to astronauts abroad the ISS. This invention now helps to provide fresh water for communities around the world.

7. Baby food

NASA sponsored the research that tested the potential of algae as a recycling agent for long space trips. The formula in baby food is called Formulaid, and includes the same algae-based nutrient that many researchers believe to be beneficial to mental and visual development in infants.

8. Camera phones

NASA also developed the technology that enables cell phone to have cameras. In the 1990s, CMOS active-pixel sensors (CMOS-APS) were invented, which have improved image quality. According to NASA, their sensors are built into one of every three cell phone cameras and every major brand of personal computer cameras.

So when you hear or even think that NASA is just a waste of money, remember your life has been made a whole lot easier with its inventions.

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