The ‘National Aeronautics and Space Administration‘, or more commonly know by its acronym, NASA, is one of the most important and relevant organisations on the planet. It was founded in 1958 as a replacement for the ‘National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics‘, NACA, under the instruction of President ‘Dwight D Eisenhower‘ after the Soviet’s successful launch of their satellite, ‘Sputnik 1‘. Its job was to research and space exploration, and the rest is history as they say. I won’t address the space programs as most people are aware of the Apollo Moon landings, the International Space Station, ISS, as well as sending probes into deep space, and robots to the surface of Mars, but what many people fail to realise is the amount of everyday items we take for granted that were created as off shoots from NASA research.
Many things have been funded by NASA research or have gone into production from direct NASA involvement, and since 1976, the ‘NASA Technology Transfer Program‘ has operated. Cochlear implants are notably one of the most successful as they aid people who get no benefit from hearing aids, as well as artificial limbs which are being developed alongside robotics as solutions to both animal and human partial or full missing limbs. These are being developed with realism and comfort, combined with affordability and durability. Other cosmetic advances that NASA have given aid to are invisible ceramic braces, so a person can have corrective dental assistance without it being obvious, in a more crucial area NASA have provided the technology for CAT scans, and ventricular heart pumps for people who are awaiting heart transplants. I’m sure you can agree that these innovations have changed a great many lives over the years.
As for technology, and especially for the people that can’t and won’t trust science, here are some of the breakthroughs that these science deniers no doubt use and have absolutely no concept of where they originated. How many science denier are spectacle wearers, and exactly how many of them will claim that NASA funding is outrageous and where does the money go? NASA allowed the glasses manufacturer Foster Grant to use their scratch resistant lens technology before other companies were allowed the rights. Now almost every manufacturer of spectacles gives scratch resistant and anti-glare lenses to their customers. Almost everyone has a smart phone, and within it is a tiny high definition camera. Thanks to NASA, everyone has access to HD cameras as in the ’90s they designed cameras that were tiny enough to fit onto satellites and space craft. Add to that Bluetooth enabled headphones that were initially designed so that astronauts could move around in zero gravity without getting tangled up in wires. As well as home insulation, water purifiers and a multitude of other household items, we all have a lot to thanks NASA and their research for.