Scratch-resistant LensesSo NASA is not only about space. Through their program they develop technology to solve problems in space that turns to actually benefit our lives here on earth. Since 1976, about 1,400 documented NASA inventions have benefited our industry, improved the quality of life. Here are some examples:Read more after the break...
If you drop a pair of eyeglasses on the ground, the lenses probably won’t break. That’s because in 1972, the Food and Drug Administration began requiring manufacturers to use plastic rather than glass to make lenses. Plastics are cheaper to use, better at absorbing ultraviolet radiation, lighter and not prone to shattering. Nevertheless, they also had an Achilles heel. Uncoated plastics tend to scratch easily, and scuffed lenses could impair someone’s sight. A process NASA developed while refining helmet visors for astronauts led to scratch-resistant lenses for eyeglasses and sunglasses. Because of dirt and particles found in space environments, NASA needed a special coating to protect space equipment, particularly astronaut helmet visors. Recognizing an opportunity, the Foster-Grant sunglasses manufacturer licensed the NASA technology for its products. The special plastics coating made its sunglasses ten times more scratch-resistant than uncoated plastics.
Kidney dialysis machines
Kidney dialysis machines were developed as a result of a NASA developed chemical process that could remove toxic waste from used dialysis fluid.
Digital signal-processing techniques
Digital signal-processing techniques, originally developed to enhance pictures of the Moon for the Apollo Program, are an indispensable part of Computer-Aided Tomography (CAT) scan & Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) technologies used today worldwide .
medical CAT scanner
As a medical CAT scanner searches the human body for tumors or other abnormalities, the industrial version, or advanced computed tomography inspection system, finds imperfections in aerospace structures and components, such as castings, rocket motors and nozzles.
hospital food service system
A hospital food service system employs a cook/chill concept for serving food. The system allows staff to prepare food well in advance, maintain heat, visual appeal and nutritional value while reducing operating costs.
Water purification technology
Water purification technology used on the Apollo spacecraft is now employed in several spinoff applications to kill bacteria, viruses and algae in community water supply systems and cooling towers. Filters mounted on faucets can reduce lead in water supplies.