Sending people to space and putting a man on the moon was one of the greatest technological achievements in human history. The unique challenges associated with space travel led to a number of technological advances that now serve those who are grounded to Earth. Sometimes these can show up in surprising everyday objects that seem to have no connection to the space program. You'd be surprised at how frequently you interact with an object that was invented for astronauts.


1. Smartphone Cameras

Room on spaceships is very limited, so many NASA innovations focus on making things smaller and lighter. Digital cameras are one common object that has benefited from this obsession with compactness. The CMOS sensor, a small chip that facilitates digital image processing, was originally developed for use in cameras mounted on spacecraft. Without it, digital cameras, including those on cellphones would still be far too big and bulky to fit into your pocket. This is believed to be NASA's most widely used invention since it can be found in so many devices.

Smartphone camera photograph martin-dm / Getty Images

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