We Can All Be Astronauts: NASA Inventions for the Average Person
On July 20th, 1969, the crew of NASA’s Apollo 11 space shuttle landed on the moon and took “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” And — 50 years later — the National Aeronautics and Space Administration continues to work tirelessly to discover the undiscoverable, create the unthinkable, and travel the unknown. Although we may not have gotten the chance to moon walk with Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, we can’t help but feel that in some small way we’ve been a part of every discovery, every invention, and every step that NASA has made over the years.
So, we might not be rocket scientists and we’d certainly never pass all the physical tests (have you seen that rotating motion sickness test from Hell!?), but thanks to NASA we can still experience what it’s like to be an astronaut, even while living our boring non-astronaut lives! To celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing, let’s check out our favorite everyday gadgets invented by NASA:
1) One Small Nap for Man: Memory Foam
Don’t let anyone tell you that taking multiple naps or sleeping for 11 hours a day is a bad thing because — thanks to NASA — you’re actually just being an American hero when you’re asleep!
Memory foam was originally invented to make an astronaut’s seat more comfortable during extreme takeoff and landing speeds, but now it’s the reason our mattress is so comfortable and that we can tell people, “We’re not napping! We’re testing NASA technology and perfecting space equipment.”
So, really, we’re just being true American heroes by working the “night shift” and doing our part to help space exploration. Yay us!
2) Forget About Phasers, We’ve Got Super Soakers:
The beloved Star Trek series had the right idea when it came to the crew’s Phaser weapons, but we think the television show might actually have been a lot more accurate if Captain Kirk had a Super Soaker instead!
Former NASA engineer Lonnie Johnson invented the iconic ‘90s water gun to the joy of children (and the annoyance of parents) everywhere. So, you go right ahead and march proudly into that toy store because you might just find the inspiration you need to invent the next innovation that changes the world! NASA needs you to invent the next Super Soaker!
3) A New Twist on the “Vacuum of Space”: DustBuster
Next time you’re unhappily vacuuming your house on a beautiful Saturday afternoon — don’t just grumble about it — try to picture yourself as an astronaut instead!
During the peak of the space exploration excitement of the 1960s, NASA enlisted the help of the hardware company Black & Decker to build a battery-operated device to collect samples from the surface of the moon.
Thus, the space vacuum or the DustBuster was born! So, you’re not just vacuuming up dust bunnies and crumbs, you’re actually practicing how to be an astronaut!
4) Space Selfies: Smartphone Cameras
Every time you pull out your phone to take a picture of your cat doing something adorable, you should thank NASA for it!
You may not have heard about NASA’s complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) image sensor technology, but CMOS is actually the reason that you can take all of those fantastic photos with your camera phone or GoPro.
So, don’t let anyone tell you that you’re not a rocket scientist! You’ve mastered the NASA technology on your smartphone camera, so that means you could totally work for NASA, right?
5) Houston, We Don’t Have a Problem (with our Teeth): Invisible Braces
Thanks to NASA, future generations of children won’t have to suffer through taunts like “metal mouth” or find themselves stuffed into a locker by the school bully.
The technology used in Invisalign or invisible braces was only discovered through NASA’s research on missile technology; the stronger-than-steel transparent material is perfect for missiles AND giving you straight teeth. Who knew?
So, you may not feel cool with braces, but who’s going to mess with you if you’ve got missile technology in your mouth? No one messes with an astronaut!
In celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing, get out there and vacuum up a storm with your DustBuster or sleep/party on your memory foam like it’s 1999! And — if that doesn’t seem like enough of a celebration to commemorate the momentous occasion, then check out DBH’s NASA FanShop t-shirts! You might not be able to be an astronaut, but there’s no reason you can’t dress like one with one of these fun NASA-inspired tees.