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Inventions We Wouldn’t Have Without Space Travel

With NASA’s Perseverance landing on Mars, the age-old debate has once again surfaced: “Why spend all that money to explore other planets, when there are so many problems right here on Earth?” Here are a few reasons. Without space travel, we wouldn’t have . . .

Camera Phones: 

Today’s tech was developed in the 90s in a quest for scientific quality cameras small enough to fit on spacecraft.

CAT Scans: 

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory played a lead role in developing the technology, which in turn led to CAT scanners and radiology. 


Red LEDs are used in space to grow plants, and to heal humans on Earth.

Athletic Shoes: 

Nike Air trainers wouldn’t exist if a NASA engineer hadn’t pitched the idea when working on space suit technology.

Dust Busters: 

NASA asked Black & Decker to come up with a lightweight device to collect moon samples. That lead to the Dustbuster in 1979.

Ear Thermometers: 

NASA and Diatek developed the aural thermometer, which uses infrared astronomy tech to measure the energy emitted by the ear drum.

The Jaws of Life: 

This uses a mini version of the explosive charge used to separate devices on the Space Shuttle.

Wireless Headsets:

NASA developed these to allow astronauts to be hands-free without wires. 

Baby Formula:

 It now contains a nutritional enrichment ingredient which can be traced back to NASA research into the use of algae during space travel. 

Portable Computers – and the Computer Mouse: 

Yup. Inspired by, and developed for space travel.