1. Solar Energy

Space Exploration

Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons

As with some other innovations, NASA didn’t invent solar cells, but they kept the technology alive while it was difficult to work with and very expensive. NASA pushed the technology forward, innovating and helping us get to the point we are with solar energy today. It was an important development for space exploration, but it’s just as useful down here on Earth.



These are a few of the major innovations that came from NASA’s work in space exploration, but there are loads more like water filtration technologies, the insulin pump, memory foam, the super soaker, certain kinds of home insulation, cochlear implants, and many advancements in long-distance telecommunications.

While this list is focused on NASA, with commercial flights to space on their way and projects like the collaboration between Yuri Milner and Stephen Hawking to find intelligent life, there are more opportunities outside of NASA coming, both grounded on Earth and, maybe, in space in the future.

If the combination of space exploration and developing technologies like these gets you excited, check out our checklist for a career at NASA and our women in NASA feature.