Night Vision: Space Technology Spinoffs

Nick Jarvis

Dear reader,

If you’re viewing this, we probably share many sympathies for astronomy and space flight. I mean, if you’re reading a newsletter for an astronomy museum, I’m probably preaching to the choir to say, “Holy cow, oh-wow-oh-wow-oh-wow human beings in rocket machines can hurl themselves through the space high above the Earth ZOMG :D :D:D:D!!1!”

…We’ll just take that as a given, for now.

But in the cold, clear light of the morning, space exploration is sometimes criticized because, don’t you know, we still live in a scarcity-based economy (stupid reality…), and this stuff is expensive. As the saying goes, “No bucks, no Buck Rodgers.” (Kids, ask your parents. Parents, ask your parents…)

But wait! Didn’t we get some great technology from the space program? There’s, like, Velcro and Teflon and microwaves and stuff. And don’t forget the Tang!

Well… actually none of those came from space research. There are many things commonly assumed to originate in the space program that really didn’t.

So did we get any technological good out of the space thing? Yes, yes, yes, oh my yes!

In this week’s Night Vision, we’ll look at the real story of how the inventions and technology that send people into space have been adapted into a wide range of “spin-offs.” These technologies have affected and improved our dwellings and workplaces; our homes, kitchens, furniture, and transportation; our management of food, water, and electricity; oh, and there’s those cool pens, too!

Please join us as we look at the impact of spaceflight research on our modern economy, and see how space exploration is actually an immensely valuable and productive enterprise.

Really, we can’t afford not to!

Night Vision: Space Technology Spinoffs​ is presented by Nick Jarvis on Saturday, November 26th, in the Hansen Dome Theater at 6:45pm. Tickets available online​ or at the Clark Planetarium ticket desk. Free for members and $2 for everyone else.

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