Top 15 space spin-offs:
1. CAT scanner: this cancer-detecting technology was first used to find imperfections in space components.
2. Computer microchip: modern microchips descend from integrated circuits used in the Apollo Guidance Computer.
3. Cordless tools: power drills and vacuum cleaners use technology designed to drill for moon samples.
4. Ear thermometer: a camera-like lens that detects infrared energy we feel as heat was originally used to monitor the birth of stars.
5. Freeze-dried food: this reduces food weight and increases shelf life without sacrificing nutritional value.
6. Insulation: home insulation uses reflective material that protects spacecraft from radiation.
7. Invisible braces: teeth-straightening is less embarrassing thanks to transparent ceramic brace brackets made from spacecraft materials.
8. Joystick: this computer gaming device was first used on the Apollo Lunar Rover.
9. Memory foam: created for aircraft seats to soften landing, this foam, which returns to its original shape, is found in mattresses and shock absorbing helmets.
10. Satellite television: technology used to fix errors in spacecraft signals helps reduce scrambled pictures and sound in satellite television signals.
11. Scratch resistant lenses: astronaut helmet visor coating makes our spectacles ten times more scratch resistant.
12. Shoe insoles: athletic shoe companies adapted space boot designs to lessen impact by adding spring and ventilation.
13. Smoke detector: Nasa invented the first adjustable smoke detector with sensitivity levels to prevent false alarms.
14. Swimsuit: Nasa used the same principles that reduce drag in space to help create the world’s fastest swimsuit for Speedo, rejected by some professionals for giving an unfair advantage.
15. Water filter: domestic versions borrow a technique Nasa pioneered to kill bacteria in water taken into space.