NASA does more than fly space missions. During the late 1950s, President Dwight Eisenhower got the United States involved in the race to outer space. That competition with the Soviet Union increased during the administrations of John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson. When the United States put men on the moon in 1969, it marked victory for NASA, an organization that has brought a number of products designed for use in space that have evolved into everyday products. Here are six products invented by NASA that men use every day.

Ear Thermometer


NASA helped develop this thermometer to aid understaffed hospitals with the every-day nursing function of taking the temperature of patients. By placing a thermometer in the ear with infrared technology, the ear thermometer makes the temperature-taking process a much quicker endeavor than the oral or rectal methods. It’s also a lot more comfortable than either of those two.

Shoe Insoles

The boots worn by astronauts were quickly christened as “moon boots.” Those shoes had plenty of ventilation and insoles to give them greater padding. Gym shoe manufacturers have taken the insoles that were used in those moon boots and have applied them to their athletic shoes. So, if you have ever put on a pair of new gym shoes and thought that they felt springy and comfortable, you can thank NASA’s engineers.

Smoke Detectors

The smoke detectors that you attach to the ceiling in your home are very similar to the smoke directors that were used in Skylab in the 1970s. NASA’s engineers teamed with Honeywell to come up with the first smoke detectors and if they had not done that, you probably would not see them in your home. Give a nod to the space program the next time your smoke alarm scares the crap out of you.

Cordless tools

Portable and battery-powered tools were first engineered by Black and Decker, but they were improved and made significantly more functional by NASA. Prior to NASA’s involvement, cordless tools were heavy and cumbersome. NASA made nearly every type of tool–including vacuum cleaners-hand-held, light and functional. They also improved the battery operation and devised a computer program that allowed batteries to have a much longer life.

Water filters


NASA knew that human beings who traveled in space would have a need to drink water. The water needed to be clean and potable. As a result, NASA engineers invented the charcoal filter to make sure that astronauts would have clean water to drink. The ability to convert contaminated water to drinking water is one of the most significant scientific achievements.

Scratch resistant lenses

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It’s something that almost all individuals who wear glasses take for granted, but they probably should not. If you drop your glasses on the ground, you just pick them up, dust them off and wear them. They don’t break and they don’t scratch. That’s because NASA made the first scratch-resistant lenses. They did this because they didn’t want helmet visors on the astronauts helmets to get scratched (or broken) and obscure their ability to see.