Scientific American: Inventions from Outer Space: Everyday Uses for NASA Technology

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9780375409790: Scientific American: Inventions from Outer Space: Everyday Uses for NASA Technology

Scientific American Inventions from Outer Space presents over 60 inventions developed by NASA for use in space - and the ways they are used every day on Earth.

There's a little bit of outer space everywhere on Earth, from the paint on the Golden Gate Bridge (originally developed by NASA to withstand high temperatures on the space shuttle launch pad) to today's high-tech sneakers (which use technology first developed for space suits) and keyboards used by disabled workers.

These items, plus Dustbuster vacuums, CAT scans, and home water filters, are only some of the world's most familiar consumer products that trace their origins to NASA's space program. This fascinating book describes over 60 inventions and, in color photographs and diagrams, outlines how the space technology was developed and how it is used here on Earth.

Full-color illustrations and clear writing offers complete explanations of how inventions are used in everyday objects.
Strong Scientific American imprimatur assures quality and appeals to science buffs of all levels.

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Review:

What do thermal gloves, robot hands, and cleaner jet engines have in common? They were all developed thanks, in part, to the American space program and its commitment to sharing research with the private sector. Inventions from Outer Space: Everyday Uses for NASA Technology is a flashy but informative overview of the products and processes that owe their existence to our pursuit of the final frontier. Author David Baker has worked with NASA on and off for 30 years, and he knows how to capture the most compelling aspects of seemingly dry topics like component testing, so they can compete fairly with sci-fi concepts like self-healing computers. Not everything you'd expect to find is in the book's 128 pages (where are Tang and Space Food Sticks?), but the many surprises, such as more comfortable beds, make for better reading than the same old stories. The book's design borrows from high-tech magazines like Wired pretty heavily, but does so without sacrificing readability. Each invention gets a two-page spread with a brief overview, several illustrations, and a generous description of the technology and its development. Boisterously pro-space and pro-tech, Inventions from Outer Space inspires surprise and awe even in the technophobic--the next time someone complains about NASA's budget, you can point to their gloves and say: "They came from outer space!" --Rob Lightner

About the Author:

David Baker worked directly with NASA for 12 years before becoming a consultant to the aerospace and ancillary industries. He is the author of more than 60 books, and lives in England.

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