From Consumer Reports News
Space Shuttle Atlantis blasted off successfully at 11:29 AM (Eastern) today—NASA’s last venture after three decades with the reusable space-planes. But as the storied—and controversial—shuttle program comes to an end, we thought we’d review how the space shuttles’ development and use for space flights have contributed to your everyday life.
According to NASA’s Technology Utilization Program, a division created in 1962 to spur commercialization and use of space-based technology, over 100 consumer products and innovations can be traced back to having some ties to the 30-year operation of the Space Shuttle Program. Here are five of them.
Better, smaller digital cameras
Kodak built the first digital camera in 1975, but NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory engineers developed the concept in the late 1960s. And in the 1990s, NASA scientists created more sensitive CMOS chips for improved low-light, deep-space photography. The commercial spin-off: Nearly one-third of all cell phone cameras and many webcams now use that NASA-developed CMOS technology. NASA-grown software code to improve digital image stabilization of shuttle launch videos is also now being used by the forensics departments of many law enforcement agencies, says NASA.
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