What do a Black & Decker cordless drill, smoke detectors and even Speedo's controversial record-breaking LZR swimsuit have in common? Here's a hint: Look up.
Way up. The answer? They were all the direct result of NASA products and research initially conducted for space travel.
The drill, for instance, was created in 1971, when NASA tapped Black & Decker to build a cordless, battery-power tool for lunar voyages and space walks. The smoker detector, on the other hand, was installed on Skylab in the 1970s to warn astronauts of mission- and life-ending fire. Finally, the LZR, long an antagonist to anyone racing against Michael Phelps in an Olympic pool, was created using materials developed by NASA to fight chafing on space walks and certain high g-force situations.
Radar magazine has a cool list of eleven more where that came from, including braces, swipe cards and even a rose-scented perfume. When you wear underwear in space for a month straight, things get stinky. [Radar via Neatorama]