Original Astronaut Space Pen

Inducted In: 2021, Consumer, Featured, Home, Recreation

If there is one model of space pens that single-handedly launched Fisher Space Pen into space, that would be the AG7 – Original Astronaut Space Pen. The creation of this pen took thousands of failed experiments, personal investment of hard-earned money, and a tad bit of “Mad Scientist” work-ethic to bring the first ever, pressurized…

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SpiraFlex Interim Resistive Exercise Device (iRED)

NASA Image of SpiraFlex Interim Resistive Exercise Device
Inducted In: 2019, Consumer, Featured, Home, Recreation

Long stays in space, such as on the ISS, take a toll on the human body, as muscles atrophy and bones weaken and lose minerals. Astronauts have long used exercise equipment to help mitigate the effects of microgravity on their bodies. But as NASA astronaut Shannon Lucid found in 1996 after a six-month stay on…

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Scratch Resistant Lenses

NASA Image of MS3 Grunsfeld ruing EVA1
Inducted In: 1989, Consumer, Home, Recreation

For decades, ground and polished glass had been the preferred lens in the eyeglass industry. That changed in 1972 when the Food and Drug Administration issued a regulation that all sunglasses and prescription lenses must be shatter-resistant. The main disadvantage to glass is its brittleness, so eyeglass manufacturers turned to plastics. Plastic lenses had many…

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Parawings or Hang Gliders

NASA Image of Parawings
Inducted In: 1995, Consumer, Home, Recreation

Parawings or hang gliders were developed in 1948 for use as a wing on inexpensive aircraft. In 1958, NASA considered the parawing as a means of returning space payloads to Earth. While NASA did not select the parawing, the military became interested in it for parachuting. In the mid-1960s Pioneer Aerospace and Irvin Industries, parachute…

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Tempur Foam

Inducted In: 1998, Consumer, Featured, Home, Recreation

The TEMPUR story begins in the late 1960s when NASA scientists and engineers were asked to develop a material to absorb the G-force pressure astronauts endure during lift-off and landing. They invented a unique formulation of viscoelastic material, with both high-energy absorption and soft, pressure-relieving properties. In the early 1970s, our Swedish founders – Mikael…

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Global Positioning System (GPS)

NASA Image of GPS
Inducted In: 1998, Consumer, Home, Recreation

The Global Positioning System (GPS) program began in 1973 when the U.S. military services and the Defense Mapping Agency combined resources to develop a highly accurate space-based navigation system. Functions not originally envisioned, such as communications system synchronization, search and rescue, precision approaches and landings, and GPS-assisted munitions, have come into common usage within the…

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Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS)

Inducted In: 2000, Consumer, Home, Recreation

A few decades ago visionaries at Hughes Electronics Corporation believed that it should be possible to produce a digitally-based, direct broadcast satellite (DBS) that would provide services directly to home consumers. This idea was based upon a perceived growing market and the technology and know-how the corporation had from developing satellites for military and telecommunications…

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Satellite Radio Technology

Image of Satellite Dish
Inducted In: 2002, Consumer, Home, Recreation

In a large urban area there may be as many as 100 AM and FM radio stations on the air. However, most broadcasts are replete with commercials and sometimes even within the urban area broadcast reception may be poor and if you drive out of the urban area reception is lost. Space technology provided an…

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Outlast Technologies Smart Fabric Technology

Outlast Technologies Image of Thermocules
Inducted In: 2005, Consumer, Home, Recreation

Based on technology developed to protect astronauts against extreme temperature fluctuations in space, Outlast Smart Fabric Technology fibers, fabrics and foams contain micro encapsulated phase change materials called Thermocules that absorb, store and release heat. This patented technology is used in a range of consumer products such as active wear to provide a more comfortably…

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Eye Protection and Vision-Enhancing Technology

Image of Eagle Eyes Lens
Inducted In: 2010, Consumer, Home, Recreation

Beginning with research at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in the 1960’s, Eagle Eyes technology is the result work to develop protection for human eyesight from the harmful effects of solar radiation.  Specifically, ultraviolet and blue-light rays which are known to contribute to cataract and age-related macular degeneration. NASA researchers looked to nature for a solution.…

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