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    Everyday NASA Inventions: 10 inventions That Changed Your Life

    When you think of NASA inventions, you likely think about spaceships and satellites. However, a lot of technology that was invented to aid astronauts and help us land on the moon has also made its way into the tools and appliances you use every day.

    NASA’s Greatest Inventions

    Thanks to our scientists, we have many advancements in the universe, as well as our everyday lives. From vacuum cleaners to shoes, here are the 10 greatest inventions that have their roots in NASA research.

    The iPod

    When the cassette Walkman could only hold 12 to 15 songs, NASA came up with the iPod – and revolutionized music. The iPod has outstanding storage capability and can easily fit a library of songs in its tiny frame. NASA has 130 people specializing in tech transfer, trying to figure out ways to commercialize its patented inventions, including the iPod.

    The Super Soaker

    When your kids are fighting over the water gun, you can thank a former NASA engineer for this popular toy. Lonnie Johnson worked on NASA projects like the Galileo mission before developing this amplified water gun that helps adolescent boys everywhere drench their rivals.

    The Laptop

    NASA has created a number of other consumer electronics, too, including the first laptop computer. In fact, the Apple computers we all use at home and work have their roots in the GRiD Compass, which was developed for astronauts in 1983. The device helped the crew keep track of time and direction in space, according to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.

    The GPS

    The Global Positioning System pinpoints your location on a map. It started out as a simple navigation tool for astronauts. It soon became a must-have feature for cars and even smartphones.

    The system uses a network of up to 32 satellites to identify your exact location. You can see it in action when you use the GPS feature on your smartphone or any map application in your car.

    Rubber Flooring

    Rubber flooring for astronauts’ feet helped them avoid slipping on the hard surfaces of spacecraft and the ground below them. Scientists later developed this material for use in automobile tires. Today, you’ll find it in the soles of your favorite Nike sneakers and in some carpeting.


    A radiant barrier was created to normalize temperatures aboard spacecraft and stations. It’s also used in home insulation. The material, which is aluminized polyester, is found in many of the energy-efficient homes around the country.

    Abrasion Coating

    In the 1970s, a scientist at NASA’s Ames Research Center created an abrasion-resistant coating for astronaut helmet visors and other equipment. The same material can now be found in sunglasses, ski goggles, and welder masks to protect against scratches and UV rays while also enhancing colors.

    Handheld Vacuums

    Handheld cordless vacuums in your closet are thanks to a NASA partnership with Black & Decker during the Apollo program. The original battery-powered tool was designed to collect samples of the Moon’s surface, but it quickly morphed into the Dustbuster cordless vacuum.

    Smoke detectors

    You can also thank NASA for the adjustable smoke detectors hanging in your house. An engineering team at the Kennedy Space Center created them to provide early warning of fire and toxic gases. The design was later used in other emergency evacuation systems.

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