Your life is full of what NASA calls "spinoffs": ideas or products initially designed for NASA's particular (and particularly challenging) uses, but which trickled down to become commercial products. Of course, you may not recognize these items--there's no "made for NASA" sticker, and many of the iconic NASA products (Tang, Teflon, Velcro) weren't actually designed for or by NASA at all. But NASA-developed stuff is everywhere, from insulation to infant formula, from prostheses to fishing nets. Here are ten of our favorites that originated in the Shuttle program--the very program that just saw its last launch ever.
Click here to see 10 ways Shuttle tech can be found right here on Earth.
Wiping out bycatch before it wipes out more marine life
By Josh DeanPosted 05.02.2011 at 10:09 am 1 Comment
Last year, fish consumption reached a global annual average of 37.5 pounds per person. Meanwhile, cod and bluefin-tuna populations have collapsed, and animals ranging from whales to turtles have been added to the Endangered Species Act. Our voracious appetite isn’t the only problem. Fishermen catch a lot of things unintentionally, in what Tim Werner, director of the New England Aquarium’s Marine Conservation Engineering program, calls the “collateral damage” of commercial fishing: bycatch.
The proliferation of space debris surrounding our planet isn't just a theoretical problem--flying extraterrestrial garbage can cause damage to satellites, manned and unmanned space missions, and even the International Space Station.