Wednesday, April 13, 2011

NASA Space Technology And The Body

I'm always fascinated by NASA, rockets, the space shuttle but more importantly by the technology advancements that have come from the space program. While I do realize that there are many who feel this is unnecessary spending, I'm am amazed at how space exploration has touched so many parts of our lives. I'm writing this just as an awareness of things that have been discovered and the impact upon our body. To me, these things are just cool!

So here are some of the technological advancements from space exploration.

1) UV Blocking Sunglasses To Guard Your Eyes
NASA researchers picked up on the fact that eagles and hawks have 5 times the photo receptors that humans do. In addition, they found that their eyes contain tiny oil droplets which filter out harmful radiation, letting through only specific wavelengths of light. This led to the development of sunglasses.

2) Tang which was developed by General Foods in 1957

3) Memory Foam
Foam that absorbs shock while providing comfort and protection. It is used in helmets, prosthetic limbs, and the insoles of shoes. Memory foam can also be found in the seat cushions of airplanes, motorcycle seats, inside bullet proof vests to lessen the impact of a bullet, and ejection seats for the military. Foam is also used to help astronauts when they came back to earth by helping to increase the challenge of an obstacle course which helps them re-adapt to earth's gravity.

4) Algae Compound, Breast Milk And Formula
In researching algae, NASA discovered a nutrient that had only been found in human breast milk. The compound is important to eye and brain development. Now, it has found its way into much of the infant formula sold in the United States.

5) CATScans and MRI And The Medical Field
In the 1960's, NASA wanted to enhance the pictures of the moon. By doing this, they invented digital image processing. Eventually the technology found its way into many other applications like CATScans and MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging).


These are just a few of the ways that we are impacted today by the research done at NASA and with space exploration. For more information, please go to the following link and read further about the impact of NASA on our lives.

Further Information:
1) Space Tech In Every Day Life
2) UV Blocking Sunglasses
3) Tang (Wikipedia)
4) Memory Foam For The Masses
5) Medical Diagnosis At A Distance


It is also important to note that NASA has just celebrated the 30th Year Anniversary of the Space Shuttle Program with designations of where each of the retired Shuttle Space Crafts will be going to be preserved as historical pieces for years to come. I believe Kennedy Space Center is getting Atlantis, Discovery is going to the Smithsonian Institute, Enterprise will go to New York City with the USS Intrepid Aircraft Carrier and Endeavor will go to the California Science Center in Los Angeles where I undestand space shuttles were built. I personally hate to see the program come to an end but I hope in the very near future, there will be more space exploration taking place.


Photo by NASA/courtesy of nasaimages.org
Blog Post & Images (c) 4/5/11 Don Shetterly - use by permission only
http://www.donshetterly.com

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