In July of 1969 I was bleary-eyed before the TV switching from CBS to NBC watching the iconic mission into space: The first man to step foot on the moon in response to Jack Kennedy's challenge. Like many space geeks (that term wasn't even thought of back then) of the time, I glued to the tube watching every history making moment. This week will end a space shuttle era when Atlantis will deliver a load of supplies to the space station. The weather looks grim, but I know the mission will be a success because frankly, "failure is not an option."
Only 4 crew members will make this historic last flight. I find it bittersweet, and yet so exciting. The new program will make way for deeper space missions such as to asteroids and to Mars. I'm wondering why not use some of the resources found on the moon? Why not utilize our oh so efficient advanced technology to invent new things which would give us the opportunity to use our moon to advance into deeper space?
We have definitely benefited from our space exploration through new products...
We have come such a long way in 42 years since July 20, 1969 because of the Space Race. We have
pens that don't use gravity to write
forehead thermometers (the really cool color temp gauge)
better baby food from algae experiments for long-term food usage closer to Mother's Milk than soy
Nitinol -- nickle/titanium alloy which has an unusual property. The NiTi wire will continually exert pressure on the braces with no need for wire tightening thus making the brace time shorter. Personally, when my wires were tightened, I couldn't eat anything for at least 3 days... wonder if this would be a good diet restricter, too.
Better pace makers
Scratch resistant glasses
Disposable diapers -- absorbent gelatin that maintained a thermal balance
Micro-chips -- leading to desk top computers, leading to laptops, cell phones
Advanced robotic missions to the moon and into deep space
Satellites -- leading to GPS, global telecommunications
Reusable shuttle for trips back and forth into space
We owe a great deal to the space exploration endeavor in that the inventions make our lives easier and more comfortable with better communications worldwide. I tip my hat to NASA -- job well done.
Question: Can you think of any other inventions that I've overlooked or left out?