Five Everyday Products Made Possible by NASA

Five Everyday Products Made Possible by NASANASA has accomplished a lot since its founding 53 years ago in July of 1958. In addition to sending humans to the Moon, NASA has also been behind some of the biggest technological breakthroughs of our time. Many of these advances can be found in products we use as part of our daily lives.

For the most part, these discoveries were made solving problems astronauts would face while exploring space. Weather instruments, scratch-resistant glass, and other tools needed to be perfected in order to be reliable when lives depend on it. Many of these inventions seem fairly simple, but for their time they were marvels of technology.

Through a mandate from Congress since its founding, NASA has been licensing its technologies to the private sector since its initial launch in the late 1950s.

Here are five everyday products made possible by NASA (and a few that aren’t, in spite of everyone thinking they are)!

Article Written by

Ryan Matthew Pierson has worked as a broadcaster, writer, and producer for media outlets ranging from local radio stations to internationally syndicated programs. His experience includes every aspect of media production. He has over a decade of experience in terrestrial radio, Internet multimedia, and commercial video production.

  • http://twitter.com/Genford Tim Genford Jensen

    It funny how much thy have maked :)

  • http://twitter.com/Genford Tim Genford Jensen

    It funny how much thy have maked :)

  • http://erniecordell.wordpress.com Ernie Cordell

    I’m glad you sorted that out:  We used to try to make this point over the years, but we couldn’t seem to separate the real products from the mythology.  It kinda put a dint in our effort. 

  • http://erniecordell.wordpress.com Ernie Cordell

    I’m glad you sorted that out:  We used to try to make this point over the years, but we couldn’t seem to separate the real products from the mythology.  It kinda put a dint in our effort. 

  • Benjamin Ritchie

    It’s nice to see that NASA is getting some credit for things they have done, as most people say they are just a waste of money. To me, they are the lifeline of humanity to expand into the heavens; and beyond.

    • http://twitter.com/MattRyan Matt Ryan

      NASA is one of the few Federal institutions I fully support funding. If I could pick and choose where my tax money went, a great deal of it work go to NASA.

    • http://twitter.com/MattRyan Matt Ryan

      NASA is one of the few Federal institutions I fully support funding. If I could pick and choose where my tax money went, a great deal of it work go to NASA.

  • http://twitter.com/hollowpetal Meg McGowan

    I find it humorous that I don’t drink filtered water, wear glasses or play a console with an analogue stick. but thumbs up NASA I hope the american government gets how important they are

    • http://twitter.com/MattRyan Matt Ryan

      If you drink tap water from a city-regulated source, you probably do. Scratch-resistant glass is also used on many cell phones.

    • http://twitter.com/MattRyan Matt Ryan

      If you drink tap water from a city-regulated source, you probably do. Scratch-resistant glass is also used on many cell phones.

  • http://twitter.com/prblog Kevin Dugan

    I thought Xerox invented the mouse, but Microsoft commercialized it? Did Xerox steal from NASA or vice versa? Just curious, not calling foul.

    • SanyaIV


      Many people mistakenly believe that the mouse was invented by Apple. Others believe that Steve Jobs stole the idea from Xerox, where the mouse was used on an early office PC called the Star. But in truth, the mouse was first conceived of by Doug Engelbart in the early 1960’s, then a scientist at the Stanford Research Institute, in Menlo Park, California. SuperKids recently visited with Doug in the offices of his current venture, Bootstrap, Inc.” 

      Source: http://www.superkids.com/aweb/pages/features/mouse/mouse.html 

      Don’t know if it’s a good source but it seems legit.

      • http://twitter.com/MattRyan Matt Ryan

        Yep. Doug’s research into the mouse was funded by NASA. Doug proposed the mouse in addition to a light pen in response to Bob Taylor’s need for a better interface device. Doug’s research concluded that people would rather use a mouse than a light pen and the mouse was born. Taylor continued to work on the mouse project with Xerox where Steve Jobs and the other folks at Apple finally came across the invention.

      • http://twitter.com/MattRyan Matt Ryan

        Yep. Doug’s research into the mouse was funded by NASA. Doug proposed the mouse in addition to a light pen in response to Bob Taylor’s need for a better interface device. Doug’s research concluded that people would rather use a mouse than a light pen and the mouse was born. Taylor continued to work on the mouse project with Xerox where Steve Jobs and the other folks at Apple finally came across the invention.

  • http://twitter.com/prblog Kevin Dugan

    I thought Xerox invented the mouse, but Microsoft commercialized it? Did Xerox steal from NASA or vice versa? Just curious, not calling foul.

  • Jacob Burrell

    I thought that Xerox was the one that created the mouse but I guess its roots can be linked back to the development for NASA.

  • Vwinterburg

    How about the obvious-satellite communication, GPS, weather pictures via satellite? The sweetie and I had a narrow escape from Vermont and Irene in August via a good road map, GPS, keeping calm and a lot of prayer. I’ve been more than thankful for taxpayer support of NASA since. Of course, it didn’t hurt that my dad worked in the Mercury Project in the 60″s

  • Noel Visser

    Cool well researched and writen it was a great read