Space technology seems like it's being updated and improved at an extremely rapid pace, all by the same high-profile people, companies, and government agencies: NASA, Elon Musk and SpaceX, Jeff Bezos and Blue Origin, Richard Branson and Virgin Galactic. It's almost as if there's new headlines about mankind's foray into space and the tech that is required to get people and resources up there.
But not a lot of people know both sides of the story. To them, those headlines just involve multibillionaires having nothing else better to do with all the money on their hands. Or maybe NASA's insane $22.6 billion budget should be spent on other things like ending world hunger, refugee crises, and building schools.
What they don't know is that space technology does benefit the real world in more ways than one. In this article, you will understand just how important space technology is in making people's lives on Earth a lot better.
Space Technology: From the Space Shuttle to the Emergency Room
Here's something that you likely don't know about NASA's Space Shuttle program. According to a CGTN America report, a tiny but critical component that helped deliver fuel to the shuttle's engines has been repurposed and is now helping save lives in modern hospitals.
That component is something called an impeller. Former astronaut and medical doctor Scott Parazynski says that impellers are used today as heart-assist devices in patients waiting in line for heart transplants. Now, just imagine how many lives are depending on a piece of hardware that's used to help bring astronauts to space and back; you'll get a clear picture of what to expect in this article.
Everyday Objects You Use That Came from Space Technology
Believe it or not, a lot of the things you take for granted everyday are products of research into space travel. Here are some excellent examples, as reported by USA Today:
Wireless headsets: Modern wireless earbuds and headphones are pretty good these days, and the convenience you get from them can never be understated. However, you likely didn't know that one of the ancestors to your AirPods was designed by NASA to help their astronauts communicate with ground control on Earth. These early wireless headsets were first used in the Apollo and Mercury missions in the 60s and 70s.
Camera phones: Almost every single phone available in the market now has a camera. It's the modern standard. And you can thank NASA's scientists once more for that because they developed the prototype tech back in the 90s. Their goal was to design a small, extremely power-efficient camera for taking pictures in space.This tech would then go on to become the standard for making cell phone cameras.
Smartphones and laptops: These devices are basically portable computers. And one of their grandparents, the Grid Compass, was designed for space shuttle missions back in the 80s.
Computer mice: Your high-performance gaming mouse is also a product of early research into space technology. Researchers from NASA and Stanford University wanted to make it easier for astronauts to manipulate data without having to memorize tons of keyboard shortcuts and prompts, and thus the mouse was born.
Space Technology Gives Back
The world spends billions upon billions of dollars developing space travel tech. But based on these facts, you should know by now that the money does come back around. Without the likes of NASA, SpaceX, Blue Origin, and Virgin Galactic, the modern world as you know it today would not exist.
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Written by RJ Pierce