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A Small Tribute To NASA, One of the Greatest Companies of All Time!

Updated on June 1, 2012

Tribute to NASA

Every year Congress and the President release the Federal spending budget. Some companies and government entities find that they came out in the positive and they received a vast pay increase. Others unfortunately see a decrease in their funding. One of these government entities that consistently see’s a decrease in their spending is NASA. It is so sad that humans no longer have a want to search the skies for what else is out there. Or that they don’t recognize the advances that this great company has shown. Instead you would have all their contribution cut down and thrown to the back burner. I would like to dedicate this article to the great advances that this company has given us. I will tell you briefly about the 10 greatest advancements from NASA. This is for you NASA. (This is common advancements that we use every day, sometimes without even knowing. I understand that travel to the moon is a great advancement but we’re talking about stuff we use here on Earth every day.)

The Last 5

10) Tough parachute armor

The Mars Pathfinder in 1997 and the Mars Rover in 2004 landed on Mars and they landed hard. NASA needed to protect their gear as it would decend to Mars and crash land on the Red Planet. NASA worked alongside Warwick Mills (the company that created the parachutes for the Apollo mission) to creat TurtleSkin protective gear. This gear can withstand punctures from needles, knives and even bullets. This material, that helped keep both missions safe as they crash landed on Mars and rolled and bounced across its surface, now is used to help keep military and police officers safe in the field.

9) Anti-Corrosion Coating

NASA's equipment has to deal with some of the most extreme conditions. There equipment goes from a normal temperature to an extremely hot temperature then to an extremely cold temperature. But honestly one of the most destructive forces is saltwater and fog. The launch sites at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida and other coastal facilities were greatly suffering from rust. In the 1980s Inorganic COatings Inc used NASA's concept of a protective coating of zinc dust and potassium silicate to create their own product. This product is applied and dries in 30 minutes, protecting structures from rust. It is used on pipelines, oil rigs, bridge girders, dock equipment, buoys, and even Army tanks. Its most well known application is when it was applied to the Statue of Liberty in the mid-1980s.

8) Reflective Coatings

NASA needed solar panels to replace ones that had fallen off of the Skylab space-based laboratory in 1973. They turned to National Metalizing and in 10 days they turned out a thin plastic material coated in vaporized aluminum. This material can deflect or conserve radiant energy, depending on it's particular need or use at that moment. It keeps cold things cold and warm things warm. This material is used to this day to keep marathon runners from hypothermia after a race as well as manatees from hypothermia in 60 degrees fahrenheit water while researchers tag them.

7) Cordless Power Tools

Though NASA didn't exactly invent it, its partnership with Black and Decker is responsible for lots of cordless tools out there today. Together they created the cordless rotary hammer drill for the Apollo 15 moon program. There are no power outlets in space.

6) Memory Foam

In 1966 the invention of memory foam helped astronauts when being launched into orbit at 17,500 miles per hour. Now this "slow spring back foam" is known as temper foam and it is used in saddles, splint pads, mattress pads, motorcycle seats, and orthopedic sitting pads. This amazing product even found a place in the Dallas Cowboy's helmets in the 70s and 80s.

The Top 5

5) Insulation

they didn't create it but their research into insulation to protect their astronauts from the cold of space and the heat of re-entry into the atmosphere greatly changed the product. Radiant barriers had never been thought of before NASA looked at insulation. Now many spin off products are on the market that are included in most homes built now. Electric bills are greatly decreased from this advancment in heat and cold conservation.

4) Nanoceramics

Nanotechnology is one area of science that was majorly influenced by NASA. Dr. Dennis Morrison developed a product called Nanoceramics. He formed tiny balloons that were called "Microcapsules". These Microcapsules were filled with cancer-fighting drugs and were injected into solid tumors. The microcapsules had to be formed in low-Earth orbit (yes, that's were NASA comes in) then because of the metals contained in the Microcapsules they would react to a magnetic field, an MRI diagnostic machine, for instance and the capsules would melt releasing a drug that would find the cancerous tumor. Later on the Nanoceramics were also found to be put in hair products that once heated would release ions that made hair smooth and shiny.

3) Water Filtration

NASA did great research on the Water Hyacinth plant. This plant can live in some of the most poluted water and it still finds a way to grow and multiply. It changes some of the most poluted water into clean water that it can use for nutrition. Their research in this field has helped advance our understanding and efficiency of filtration providing astronauts with the means to have continual water supplies while in space for many months on end.

2) Microalgae

In the 1980's Nasa did a lot of research on food. Of course it began as a way to feed their Astronauts but it later came back to Earth. If you have used baby formula or had milk, yogurt, pasta sauce, or bread in the last 10 years you have probably had Microalgae. Cypthecodinium cohnii, is very high in omega-3 fatty acid (called DHA, docosahexanoic acid), and it is found in the brain, eyes, and heart. DHA is essential for the development of those organs in babies as well as normal function in adults. Formulaid was created in 2001 by Martek, which included DHA and AHA (arachidonic acide, an omega-6 fatty acid derived from fungus). It is normal to find Formulaid in many baby formulas and food all across the world.

1) Cochlear Implants

In the late 1970s Adam Kissiah Jr. sought out to fix his and all the other hearing impaired people in the worlds hearing problems. All hearing aids did was amplify the sound that came into them. With his new invention it would create digital pulses to stimulate the auditory nerve endings, which would then transmit the signals to the brain. This allowed people who have been deaf since birth to hear for the first time. And tons of other hearing impaired people can hear now better than ever before.

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