NPR

Space Spinoffs: The Technology To Reach The Moon Was Put To Use Back On Earth

Project Apollo spurred on a technological revolution — everything from advances in food packaging to computers. Fifty years later, we are still reaping the rewards.
Source: Lily Padula For NPR

The Apollo program was gigantic.

The U.S. government spent roughly $26 billion (about $260 billion in today's dollars, according to one estimate) between 1960 and 1972 to hire contractors and subcontractors who employed hundreds of thousands of people to create and improve on technology that led us to the moon and back.

While some of that tech has stayed within the space industry, a lot of it has trickled down to the public. There's a huge list of the stuff. NASA has an entire department dedicated to cataloging it all.

Sometimes separating myth from reality isn't easy. These six, however, are bona fide space program spinoffs.

Freeze-dried food

Beef pot roast, lobster bisque, peach ambrosia – all things that, if you were an Apollo astronaut, you might be eating out of a plastic pouch while speeding away from Earth at 5,000 miles per hour.

Freeze-dried foods were perfect for the weight-conscious Apollo missions, in which the spacecraft needed to stay lean enough to get to the moon and per day to keep themselves going.

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