Now becoming companions of life, the technology of some now-essential objects had a whole other purpose. They were made by Nasa for projects beyond Earth's boundaries, but then they were applied to improve our daily lives.
Nasa is the United States aerospace agency among the most important in the world in terms of space exploration and new planets. When you hear its name, you can't help but think of the Moon or Mars or some new discovery beyond the Earth's borders. What is often ignored, however, is that many technologies that we use every day, were designed precisely to be applied in orbit. From cell phone cameras to anti-scratch lenses, here are some tools that have become indispensable in our daily lives, but whose conception had a different purpose. Will Media has reported 5 of them, while NASA itself, a few years ago, published "Spinoff", where he collected 50 technologies originally designed for missions and research in the cosmos that were later applied to structures that had nothing to do with space.
NASA inventions we use every day: cell phone cameras
In the 1990s, NASA developed a tiny camera to take high-definition photos. To do so was a team at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), in particular Eric Fossum, who worked to make devices small enough to fit into spacecraft, but that could, at the same time maintain optimal quality. Thus CMOS image sensors were invented. Over the years, these sensors have spread and have been used in other electronic devices, such as cell phones. Today, one-third of smartphones worldwide use this technology.
The anti-scratch lens
The anti-scratch lens coating was actually designed to protect the instruments and visors of astronauts' helmets. It is a treatment that is performed on the lens at the time of its shaping. The procedure involves immersing the lens in a liquid solution that leaves a thin layer on it which, once cured, protects the lens from scratches. These devices are ten times more resistant than and, by now, are required by almost everyone who wears glasses.
The thermal blankets
The clothing for astronauts must have adequate thermal protection to allow the famous "walks" in Space. Conceived by Nasa in 1964, its technology was then used to make thermal blankets that are impervious to wind and water and are able to stabilize a person's temperature both in cases of hypothermia and if they have had a heat stroke.
The Memory Foam Mattress
One of the most widely used materials for padding was developed by the Ames Research Center. But what was its main purpose? To create comfortable seats adaptable to different "sizes" of astronauts. The idea was to produce a material that could mold itself to the shape of the body and return to its normal position when not in use. Memory Foam is made of foam to cushion the impact of landing by distributing weight and pressure evenly. In the early 1980s, this technology was later released for use on "terrestrial" objects as well, such as most of the mattresses in our beds.
Portable Vacuum Cleaner
How to collect dust samples from the Moon? From this question came the project that led to the creation of portable vacuum cleaners. Nasa made it in collaboration with Black&Decker, and the company, in 1979, used the technology to create a small, lightweight model of vacuum cleaner that is still used today to collect dust and crumbs on the furniture in our homes.
Nasa had been using wireless headsets since the 1960s. This technology was also used by early astronauts, including those who first walked on the moon during the famous Apollo 13 mission. About 50 years later, the system became commercial and in common use even for people who don't appreciate the twisting wire of regular earbuds.
Nasa has also currently opened a selection process to apply to become citizens of Mars.