NASA Spinoffs you might see this Super Bowl weekend

Apollo’s Small Steps Are Giant Leap for Shoe Technology Credit: NASA

Blow rubber molding techniques created for the manufacture of space boots was adopted by Nike in the production of their Air line of athletic shoes.  The cushioning inside athletic shoes also has an Apollo pedigree   The woven-fiber fabric used now absorbs energy and gives it back to the athlete improving efficiency and reducing fatigue.

How the Skycam works Courtesy: New York Times

As you watch the cable suspended  camera flying over the field, you might wonder how it can produce such steady images.  Technology developed by NASA to stabilize video of shuttle launch analysis video was adapted for use in those overhead cameras.

Wireless headsets used today by coaches and some players were born are certainly lighter and provide higher quality audio than their predecessors but that technology is based in headsets developed for the Apollo program.  You’ll also see that technology in use in taxi, utility and 911 dispatch centers.

Memory foam developed to make aircraft safer in crashes now lines football helmets and pads Credit: NASA

Helmets used by football players and in many other sports are lined with shock absorbing foam developed by NASA researchers for aircraft seats.  This open-cell polyurethane silicone plastic foam is better known as “memory foam” which quickly returns to its original shape after compression.  It’s also used in shoulder, knee and elbow pads for a variety of sports.  You’ve probably also seen it in mattress pads.

That satellite dish hanging off the side of your house is part of a digital direct-broadcast satellite system which was pioneered by NASA.  If you find yourself watching the “big game” on a aircraft, train, bus or in the back seat of an minivan equipped with technology that enables mobile reception of satellite television, you’ve got NASA to thank there as well.