The Space Age led to many wonderful technological advancements in space exploration. In fact, some of the inventions used in the space race are even used until today. These are the items that people use in their daily lives, without knowing their origins.
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1. Integrated digital image sensors
A team at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) created cameras that are small enough to fit inside a spacecraft and also with scientific quality. Their work led to the creation of the integrated digital image sensors found in modern-day camera phones. In fact, 1/3 of all cameras today have the technology that the JPL team used in their work back in the 1990s. The invention also helped boost the world of photography.
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2. Water purifier
One trouble of flying out into space is having access to drinking water. To address this problem, NASA engineers teamed up with companies to develop systems to turn water from respiration, sweat, and urine into potable water. Today, the Telegraph says this technology is now used in underdeveloped nations to purify heavily contaminated water.
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3. Scratch-resistant lenses
The invention of the scratch-resistant lenses came after an attempt to develop diamond-hard coatings for aerospace systems. That development, later on, led to the creation of a technique developed and patented for that purpose. The science behind was then applied to eyeglasses, goggles, sunglasses, and safety masks to protect and enhance color vision.
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4. Memory foam
Who would've thought that the stuff that makes sleeping on a mattress be more comfortable is actually invented by NASA? The space agency developed the memory foam in 1987 to ensure that test pilots are cushioned during flights, according to Reader's Digest. Today, many sleepers worldwide greatly value the memory foam as it conforms to their body, making their slumber a lot more satisfying.
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5. Baby formula
Today's baby formulas contain a nutritional ingredient vital for an infant's development—one that researchers stumbled upon. While they were developing meal replacements for astronauts who were set to travel to Mars, NASA researchers found a form of omega-3 fatty acids commonly found in breast milk. Today, that fat is added to over 90 percent of infant formula in the market.
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6. The fastest swimsuit
In 2008, Speedo adopted the technology NASA used in its wind tunnel testing facilities. This led the swimsuit manufacturer to produce the "world's fastest swimsuit," which helps swimmers break dozens of records. According to the Telegraph, the effectiveness of the suit to reduce skin friction drag prompted Olympic regulators to make rules that will restrict the level of skin coverage allowed.
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7. Satellite TV
Before sending a man into space, agencies first sent unmanned satellites onboard test flights to transmit data back to Earth. The technology used back then is now part of people's everyday lives. 200-odd satellites orbiting the planet are what allow people to have long-distance communication with one another.
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8. Artificial limbs
NASA was the leader of robotics during the space age, developing technology to remotely control space vehicles. Back then, the space agency innovated in shock-absorption materials as well as robotic and extravehicular activities. And today, the technology used in this development has been adopted to create more functionally dynamic artificial limbs.