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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/5594/myths-of-nasa-inventions-they-never-invented/

Myths of NASA: Inventions They Never Invented

September 11, 2006 by

Ever wonder where Tang and Teflon came from? If you guessed that some lab operated by NASA pulled the necessary levers and turned the dials, you guessed wrong.

See, Urban Legends of NASA: What They Did Not Invent

More on NASA: 1 2 3

{ 15 comments }

Mark Brabson September 11, 2006 at 1:43 pm

I live about 10 miles from Shuttle launch pad A. And have worked in a support position for a NASA contractor for a decade. In this decade I have watched a typical government bureacracy at it’s worst.

I think the utter lowpoint of stupidity was not the loss of the Shuttle Columbia, but rather the loss of a Mars orbital mission because of the fact that the contractor was using english units and the government was using metrics. Yes the failure was the directly the contractor’s fault, but NASA’s stupidity in allowing contractors to use english units was the indirect causal factor.

I can pretty much verify that NASA has produced NOTHING of value for years. They have spent countless billions on a Space Station that has produced NO useful science at all. The only useful science has been produced on unmanned missions and that could be done with privately owned launch companies.

Oh yeah, they are about to spend trillions on a stupid, moronic quest for Mars.

dave January 3, 2011 at 6:36 pm

I think you mean imperial mesurments, english is a language, not a mesuring system

Brent September 11, 2006 at 2:21 pm

Good link.

The title should read Myths of NASA, however (without the apostrophe).

Vince Daliessio September 11, 2006 at 3:32 pm

A great, though probably apocryphal story – NASA spent millions on the development of a pen that could write in zero-g.

The Russians used pencils instead.

Don’t forget that most of the major government contractors to the space program are largely creatures of government contracting, and cannot rely on the market to steer them to cheap, reliable products.

They instead innovate, to the feeble degree that they do, by dint of the lucky accident of; 1) a talented engineer getting assigned to; 2) a key program; 3) in his area of competence; 4) with a competent manager; 5)at the same time the program gets funded adequately.

The rest of the time a program gets what it is after by sheer brute force, political pressure, and tons of taxpayer cash.

Peter September 11, 2006 at 6:07 pm

NASA delenda est

Sooper Dave September 11, 2006 at 7:12 pm

I thought the NASA space pen was a myth?

lcslcs September 11, 2006 at 7:33 pm

I guess Government bashers never sleep.

Mark Brabson September 11, 2006 at 7:54 pm

The Space Pen was developed at the REQUEST of NASA, but not BY NASA. NASA did not want to use pencils because they thought the debris from pencil shavings would be hazardous.

However, NASA didn’t seem to think that pumping the Apollo 1 spacecraft full of pure oxygen and putting three men inside would be hazardous. Typical government stupidity and three men burned to death. But they got their nice fancy space pens.

Vince Daliessio September 12, 2006 at 3:18 pm

Mark, I stayed far away from that one, as it was negligence bordering on criminal indifference to put humans and flammables in a pressurized oxygen environment with massive amounts of unproven electrical equipment. Any Chem 1 student could have pinted that out – NASA needed three dead pilots and an inquiry.

Curt Howland September 12, 2006 at 8:35 pm

I, too, worked at NASA for a while.

The ablative heat shield is another massive expenditure to create something unique to fill a specific role.

The Russians used oak. Burn-through time longer than re-entry, just like the ablative heat shield. Cost measured in tens instead of millions.

If they were worried about pencil shavings, there is always wax pencils. Silly NASA.

D Nutz August 28, 2009 at 10:33 pm

Studies have shown that a person with higher intelligence can appreciate the space program; apparently there are alot of backwoods retards making comments

newson August 28, 2009 at 11:10 pm

studies have shown that many backwoods retards make one-liners without substantiation. it’s the space between the ear-lobes that counts.

mpolzkill August 28, 2009 at 11:48 pm

newsome,

Without substantiation? “D Nutz” didn’t even make sense. Weak. Even weaker than “lcslcs”.

Gil August 29, 2009 at 12:09 am

Actually NASA were worried about graphite chips screwing up the electronic equipment.

Dave M January 3, 2011 at 7:19 pm

Everyone seems to forget that Rutan is putting people into orbit for mere fractions of the cost NASA does. He started out designing homebuilt aircraft for the hobbiest and recreational aviator.

His propulsion system you literaly can build at home, nitrous oxide and rubber. The problem with the space program occured when they scrapped the Airforce DynaSoar program and directed all funding to NASA.

The level of safety conciousness and butt covering in NASA has become so prevelant that they would not attempt a lunar landing today if they were asked to.

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