It’s no big secret that a number of countries have invested a substantial portion of tax payer dollars into space-based programs. This has left a lot of people wondering whether their money could be better spent in areas that might be in greater need of more immediate financial support. However, the fact of the matter is that since its formation in 1958, NASA has gone well beyond simply making contraptions to send into space. The Space Act was even put in place to ensure that the research conducted and discoveries made by NASA provide a benefit to the general public in addition to furthering our knowledge of the cosmos. By remaining faithful to this mandate, NASA has actually generated a great number of consumer products that people all over the world use everyday without having any idea they resulted from research into space exploration. These inventions have had the effect of improving our quality of life here on Earth and have since inspired new technologies with the potential to boost a nation’s economy.
Of the over 6,300 patents that NASA currently has under its belt, here are 12 that have had the biggest impacts on our everyday lives.
12. Shoe Insoles
The space suit designed for the Apollo missions was an extremely sophisticated piece of technology. It even included specially-made boots that provided ventilation while also putting an extra spring in an astronaut’s steps. Athletic shoe companies have since adopted this technology and used it to make better shoes that lessen the impact on your feet and legs as you’re walking and running.