NASA innovations to be thankful for

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HOUSTON (CW39)- When we think of NASA, most of us think of the amazing missions they do, like the recent SpaceX Crew-1 flight. In reality, they are always working on new technologies, some of which end up being really helpful in our everyday lives.

For example, they found a way to synthesize an algae into tasteless additives for food, which was instrumental in the development of baby formula.

They also pioneered a system called the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point. It was developed when they were working on astronaut food in the early days of the Apollo program. Basically, it is what is responsible for a major reduction in food borne illness. The food we will put on our Thanksgiving table has more than likely gone through this process.

One more innovation you may not realize NASA is responsible for is something you may be carrying in your pocket right now.

“We developed the camera that’s in your cell phone. The actual camera on a chip that’s in your device in your pocket, we hold the current patents on that and that was originally a lightweight, high resolution camera that was developed for space applications and it turns out it’s also useful in these phones we carry around. So not a typical, traditional Thanksgiving table item, but this year, cameras and Zoom, those things are going to be on Thanksgiving tables,” explained Dan Lockney, a Technology Transfer Program Executive at NASA.

Recently, NASA engineers at the Jet Propulsion Lab developed a simpler to use, simpler to build ventilator. They started working on it mid-March and within three weeks, they had a prototype. Now it’s being manufactured and distributed all over the world.

To read more about innovations NASA has been involved in, click here.

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