It came from outer space: NASA innovations in our lives

By , CIO |  Tech & society, NASA, slideshow

Since the 1960s, NASA and its many research partners have developed a variety of products designed to keep the space shuttle safe, its astronauts healthy and comfortable, and to explore the far-reaches of our solar system. The materials and technologies they developed have proven as valuable on earth as they did in space. Here are eight consumer products that are truly heaven sent.

Photo courtesy of Similac

Nutritional Supplements

In the 1980s, scientists from NASA and Martin Marietta tested strains of microalgae to determine their use as a food supply, oxygen source, and catalyst for waste disposal on long space missions. They discovered that the microalgae contained properties that astronauts and earth-dwellers alike could use as a nutritional supplement. This discovery fueled a spinoff from Martin Marietta, Martek Biosciences, whose continued research on microalgae led to the development of two nutritional supplements—life'sDHA and life'sARA. These omega-3 fatty acids are known to improve brain function and prevent cardiovascular disease. Many baby formulas and dairy products are fortified with them.

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Republished with permission from CIO (view original version)

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