12 Everyday Items You Didn’t Know NASA Invented

4 min read

The space program giants, National Aeronautics and Space Administrations (NASA), are credited with more than preparing spaceships and astronauts to make the journey into deep space for those all-important discoveries.

Whatever they create to track themselves in space, or bring them comfort on their journeys, are also essential spin-offs for everyday use. It might surprise you to know that you have items in your homes created by spacemen and women.

Continue reading to find out 12 everyday items that NASA made!

12. LED Light Bulbs for a.m and p.m


The LED double-duty bulbs work to increase your alertness during the day. As things wind down in the afternoon, they also wind down to announce that the day is closing.

In 2015, the National Space Biomedical Program selected a team to create a prototype. They discovered that colors and wavelengths of light help people to become drowsy or stay alert.

11. Memory Foam

memory foam

You may look at your mattress differently after this. That soft stuff in it that conforms to your body comfortably and makes you rest like a baby is memory foam. It was developed by NASA in 1987, as they looked for a way to protect and cushion their test pilots throughout their flights.

10. Healthier Baby Formula

Baby formula

NASA discovered a form of omega 3-fatty acids that were only present in breast milk at the time. Researchers were developing replacement meals for the journey to Mars when this vital discovery was made. And since it was breast milk food, it was natural to add it to baby formula for healthy development.

9. GPS To Precision


The Jet Propulsion Lab began developing precision GPS software in the 1990s. Formerly, GPS wasn’t so precise in finding your position. The precision software effectively corrected the “lead astray” errors, and now the world is a more developed place, as cars, phones, pilots and sailors, are guided by the technology. We now even have self-driving farm equipment!

8. Digital Image Sensors

Digital image sensor

Before NASA integrated digital image sensors into smartphones, DSLR and Go Pro, image sensors took a chunk out of your pockets! The Jet Propulsion Lab in California, thankfully, discovered the technology to create sensors to use less power. These could be mass-produced, using a cheaper method at the time. Thus the age of digital photography was born.

7. Food Safety Storage

Food storage

To reduce the risk of bacteria and chemical contamination in foods, NASA partnered with the Pillsbury Company. They created a new standard to safely and healthily freeze foods and extend the life of dried food products. It’s called the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP). That standard is now adapted globally to everyone’s benefit.

6. Speedo LZR Swimsuit

Speedo LZR swimsuit

The Speedo swimsuit worn by many Olympic medal winners was tested by the Langley Research Center in 2008. NASA tested the materials and seams in their wind tunnel for drag, and the Speedo LZR Racer swimsuit was born. That Olympic year, numerous swimmers won medals!

5. Air Purifiers for Plants

NASA air purifier

NASA’s scientists developed an ethylene scrubber for the Internal Space Station. This was because the plants in their closed-off environment were releasing a built-up gas.

They needed to purify the air while helping to keep the plants fresh. The same technology is now popular in many places to keep plants fresh and help grocers keep their produce fresher for longer periods.

4. Scratch-Resistant Eyeglasses


NASA’s Ames Research Center was one of the first to research eyeglass coating that we now enjoy. They improved the astronaut’s helmet visor and the water purification systems membrane.

The scientists applied the same science to sunglasses, other eyeglasses, goggles and safety masks,  providing and enhancing protection, and at the same time, improving hues and colors.

3. Dustbuster!


NASA partnered with Black & Decker to build tools operated with batteries to collect samples from the moon’s surface during exploration. The samples were so effectively collected that it was promptly adopted for hospital use, homes and other industries. Hand-held tools developed quickly after that, including hand-held vacuum cleaners.

2. Space Blankets 

space blanket

NASA spaced blankets are found in most emergency kits in America and save many lives in the wilderness on camping trips. The blanket was first developed in 1973, as the Sky Lab -3 Mission needed a sun shield for insulation of the satellite itself.

1. Radiant Home Insulation


Normalized temperatures came to space crafts and space stations when radiant technology was developed by NASA over 40 years ago. It wasn’t until 2004, however, that it was used for home insulation.

The Eagleshield barrier is applied to increase the efficiency of home insulation. This effectively reduced cooling and heating bills.

NASA has been busy inventing and creating efficient tools for home and industry purposes. Numerous other items on the market, built by NASA, make life easier and even more interesting.

So, the next time you use any device in your home, make sure to have a look at the manufacturer. It may just be your premier spacers!