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Topic – It Came from Space

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It Came from Space

Space exploration is very new in the history of humankind. Space travel began in 1957 when the first artificial satellite was launched by the Soviet Union. Yuri Gagarin became the first person to orbit Earth in 1961. In 1962, Alan Shepard became the first American to do the same thing. In 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first person to walk on the Moon.

Since then, space exploration has advanced very rapidly, and it has produced a large amount of amazing technology that we take for granted today. Technologies originally developed for use in space have found new and sometimes unexpected uses on Earth, in products called spin-offs. Here are just a few of the products we owe to space exploration.

Invisible Braces: A new material was developed to help track heat-seeking missiles. This new material is now used to make invisible braces.

Coatings for Lenses: A special coating was developed to protect plastic space equipment, such as visors for astronauts. This coating is used today to make plastic lenses that are very hard to scratch.

Smoke Detectors: Smoke detectors like the ones you use in your home were developed to detect fire or gases in Skylab, the first space station.

Cordless Tools: Lightweight, cordless tools were developed to help astronauts collect mineral and rock samples from the Moon.

CAT and MRI Scans: A technology was developed to photograph the Moon’s surface and find a good place to land. CAT and MRI technologies were developed from this. They are used today in hospitals all around the world to produce images of the insides of people’s bodies.

Memory Foam: A special foam was developed to protect astronauts from impact when landing. This foam is now used in many places such as airline seats, pillows, mattresses, and cushions for wheelchairs.

Blood Analysis Machine: Technology was developed to create a compact lab instrument that analyzes blood in
30 seconds rather than 20 minutes. This is used by doctors and hospitals today.

All of these technologies and many more help make our lives better.

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