Space Inventions - How They Have Impacted Our Lives


Despite sending humans to Earth's orbit and the moon, the idea of humans surviving in outer space must seem like science fiction. Creating an environment that can sustain human life in the almost total absence of gravity, as well as no electrical outlets or oxygen, takes a lot of experimentation. That’s been the job of teams of dedicated scientists who have facilitated some of the most unforgettable moments in space exploration.

Unlike modern inventions we no longer use, these inventions are employed daily to save lives, improve environmental sustainability, and keep humans healthy:

1.Artificial limbs

Innovations originally designed for space vehicles, including artificial muscle systems, robotic sensors, diamond-joint coatings, and temper foam, make artificial human limbs more functional, durable, comfortable and life-like.

2.Scratch-resistant lenses

After NASA developed scratch-resistant astronaut helmets, the agency gave a license to Foster-Grant Corporation to continue experimenting with scratch-resistant plastics, which now comprise most sunglasses and prescription lenses.


During the Apollo moon landings, NASA partnered with Black & Decker to invent various battery-powered tools for drilling and taking rock samples in space. This led to the creation of the ultra-light, compact, cordless DustBuster.

4.Shock absorbers for buildings

Shock absorbers designed to protect equipment during space shuttle launches are now used to protect bridges and buildings in areas prone to earthquakes.

5.Wireless headsets

Along with two airline pilots who'd invented a prototype of a wireless headset, NASA built a light, hands-free communication system that would allow astronauts to communicate with teams on Earth. The technology was utilized in the Mercury and Apollo missions.

6.Freeze-dried foods

During long space missions where every ounce of weight and inch of space aboard a shuttle must be maximized, freeze-dried foods have become a staple. Freeze-dried foods are incredibly light, and they retain their nutritional value. Once reconstituted, they are also easier and more pleasant to eat than former meal sources that were packed into squeeze tubes.

7.Camera phones

In the 1990s, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory invented a light, miniature imaging system that required little energy in order to take high quality photographs from space. This technology has become standard in cell phone and computer cameras.

8.Memory foam

Memory foam was originally invented as a pad for astronaut seats that would mold to their bodies during the high forces of takeoff and landing, then return to a neutral state. This eliminated the need to customize seats to individual astronauts' body sizes.


Intended for use to help in growing plants aboard space shuttles, NASA's LED technology has been utilized in the development of LED medical devices that relax muscles and relieve pain in soldiers, cancer patients, and those with Parkinson's disease.

10.Computer mouse

While searching for a way to increase interaction with onboard computers and allow users to perform tasks like manipulate data, NASA and Stanford researchers developed the first mouse.

11.Athletic shoes

A shock-absorbent rubber molding designed for astronauts' helmets inspired what is now a common feature in the soles of modern athletic shoes.

(facts source 1-11 from :

If some of these inventions have shocked or surprised you write them down in the comments below.Some of these inventions have changed peoples lives which ones do you think you wouldn't be able to live without?

Comments (9)

  • tom Tom @ Topical Talk
    13 Dec 2019

    Thank you for this question appreciate_dove. We don’t normally publish posts which have copied and pasted from the internet but this is asking a question that builds on an activity that students have done in their BNC session, and you have also credited your source. In future, try to sum things up in your own words if you can - it will help your understanding!

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    1. appreciative_dove | Whyteleafe School B
      Tom @ Topical Talk's comment 16 Dec 2019

      Thank you for the comment, I will try to include some of the BNC's skills next time!

      Reply to this comment
  • Hammond School logo happy_politics | Hammond Junior School A
    13 Dec 2019

    Without Artificial limbs, some people's lives would be completely different. They would have to be in wheelchairs or would only have one arm. That would impact their life the most. I believe for anyone who does not need an artificial limb, Dustbusters would be the most important as it keeps your house clean. (It reduces the amount of dust mites, meaning that Asthma attacks could be less common as you don't inhale the dust.)
    Also, I have another invention that was invented due to equipment used for space exploration. CAT scans are used in hospitals and were invented due to this equipment.

    Reply to this comment
    1. appreciative_dove | Whyteleafe School B
      happy_politics's comment 16 Dec 2019

      Did you find that on the link happy_politics?

      Reply to this comment
  • Hammond School logo spirited_pear | Hammond Junior School A
    13 Dec 2019

    Yes space invention have hugely improved our lives and if we did not have some of the things we could not be doing aswell in our economy.

    Reply to this comment
  • Hammond School logo miraculous_knowledge | Hammond Junior School A
    13 Dec 2019

    I personally think that dust busters is the most important one because if an astronaut had asthma then one of the things that deeply impact asthma is dust. Dust busters can get rid of all dust and more and that could prevent an astronaut's asthma from getting too bad. This could also be used for other things other than asthma. It could be used to stop irritation for the astronaut and to stop them from sneezing. This was a hard choice but I think that dust busters comes first for me.

    Reply to this comment
    1. tom Tom @ Topical Talk
      miraculous_knowledge's comment 13 Dec 2019

      Well done for supporting your opinion with reasons, miraculous_knowledge!

      Reply to this comment
  • Lyons Hall Primary School generous_seagull | Lyons Hall Primary School | United Kingdom
    13 Dec 2019

    I think that DustBusters are the most important because if somewhere or something is dusty then you can use your DustBuster to clean it. Most importantly, if dust affects you seriously then it will be very useful for example if you have, an allergy, asthma and many more diseases. However, many people might not agree with my opinion, but I personally think that it is very useful for a various amount of things that can save people’s lives.

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