By Janie Paulson
Last week the final NASA space shuttle mission safely landed. Watching the news on the final mission and the question of where NASA may go from here reminded me of some of the great things I enjoyed as a kid thanks to NASA: freeze dried ice cream and tang. But there are many other great things NASA invented, inventions which have directly and indirectly kept us lawyers working.
Certainly, NASA has directly provided legal work in intellectual property with all its patents (over 1,000). It even licenses its patents to companies and engages in joint ventures with companies to make products that we use, which then provides both transactional and litigation attorneys work.
Life support machines, laser heart surgery, ear thermometers, invisible braces, and artificial limbs. These medical technologies were all developed through and with NASA technologies, and provide plenty of lawyers with work. And if the doctor or product does something wrong, there are always medical malpractice attorneys there to benefit from that research as well.
In offices, water filters, hand held vacuums, and long distance telephone calls are all possible because of work NASA did on projects. While at the firm golf tournament, if using a Wilson, that ball benefits from NASA’s aerodynamic research.
So when you go home at night and go to sleep on your Tempurpedic bed (another NASA invention!), you can rest easy. Even without the space shuttle, NASA will continue to research new technologies and file patent applications, which therefore will continue to create products to keep us lawyers working.
Curious for other NASA contributions? Check out these links:
Know of another NASA invention? Make sure to comment below and share your story.
note: When doing research for this article I discovered that gasp! tang was not invented by NASA. It was in fact created by another company, that happens to keep a lot of Minnesota lawyers in jobs too, General Mills.