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Some Of The Most Surprising New Products That Came From NASA Research

Illustration for article titled Some Of The Most Surprising New Products That Came From NASA Research

A skin cream, an algae-based pet food, a hand-held cabin pressure monitor, speakers built with magnetized fluid and a machine designed to fix your golf swing. What do they all have in common? All of them were made using NASA research.

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Top image: A picture from the magnetic fluid research, conducted in the '60s, now being used in as a sound dampener in a new speaker system. Gregory Maxwell / NASA.

Over the years, NASA research has found its way into consumer products, ranging from the memory foam in your mattress to the scratch-resistant coating on your glasses. But each year NASA licenses some of its research to private companies, and that list, of what NASA calls its "spinoffs", grows a little longer. So what's on the list for 2015, and what were the originally used for? Here a couple highlights:

  • A speaker dampener made with magnetic fluid, originally designed to pull rocket fuel
  • An algae-based pet food, based on NASA research on easily grown sources of essential fatty acids
  • Anti-heat spacesuit technology was repurposed into cooling exercise cuffs
  • An earthquake shock absorber which was built from shock absorbers designed to protect electronic connections during the space shuttle launch
  • A cabin pressure monitor designed for use at Kennedy Space Center, repurposed into a handheld version for airplane pilots
  • Research on the dizzying effects of zero-G on astronauts, turned into a machine that helps golfers better balance their swing
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DISCUSSION

marcello1988
Professional Chair Tester

I hate when people say going to Mars is a waste of money. It's not about what we'll learn on Mars, it's about what we'll learn GOING to Mars.