50 Consumer Technologies Developed by NASA in the Last 50 Years

Every year NASA publishes a new edition of their Spinoff magazine, a periodical that outlines NASA-based technologies that have disseminated into everyday devices, improving our lives beyond giving us some nifty new desktop wallpapers. This year marks the 50th anniversary of Spinoff, and to celebrate, NASA has created a "best of" list (that we pasted after the jump). From the aerodynamic principles applied to tractor trailers to advanced imaging techniques that allow 360-degree Real Estate photo tours, NASA demonstrates that their technological breakthroughs are about more than just sticking an American flag on the moon.

Health and Medicine

Robotics Offer Newfound Surgical Capabilities

In-Line Filtration Improves Hygiene and Reduces Expense

LED Device Illuminates New Path to Healing

Polymer Coats Leads on Implantable Medical Device

Lockable Knee Brace Speeds Rehabilitation

Robotic Joints Support Horses and Humans

Photorefraction Screens Millions for Vision Disorders

Periodontal Probe Improves Exams, Alleviates Pain

Magnetic Separator Enhances Treatment Possibilities

Transportation

Lithium Battery Power Delivers Electric Vehicles to Market

Advanced Control System Increases Helicopter Safety

Aerodynamics Research Revolutionizes Truck Design

Engineering Models Ease and Speed Prototyping

Software Performs Complex Design Analysis

Public Safety

Space Suit Technologies Protect Deep-Sea Divers

Fiber Optic Sensing Monitors Strain and Reduces Costs

Polymer Fabric Protects Firefighters, Military, and Civilians

Advanced X-Ray Sources Ensure Safe Environments

Consumer, Home and Recreation

Wireless Fluid-Level Measurement System Equips Boat Owners

Mars Cameras Make Panoramic Photography a Snap

Experiments Advance Gardening at Home and in Space

Space Age Swimsuit Reduces Drag, Breaks Records

Immersive Photography Renders 360° Views

Historic Partnership Captures Our Imagination

Outboard Motor Maximizes Power and Dependability

Space Research Fortifies Nutrition Worldwide

Aerogels Insulate Missions and Consumer Products

Environmental and Agricultural Resources

Computer Model Locates Environmental Hazards

Battery Technology Stores Clean Energy

Robots Explore the Farthest Reaches of Earth and Space

Portable Nanomesh Creates Safer Drinking Water

Innovative Stemless Valve Eliminates Emissions

Web-Based Mapping Puts the World at Your Fingertips

Computer Technology

Program Assists Satellite Designers

Water-Based Coating Simplifies Circuit Board Manufacturing

Software Schedules Missions, Aids Project Management

Software Analyzes Complex Systems in Real Time

Wireless Sensor Network Handles Image Data

Virtual Reality System Offers a Wide Perspective

Software Simulates Sight: Flat Panel Mura Detection

Inductive System Monitors Tasks

Mars Mapping Technology Brings Main Street to Life

Intelligent Memory Module Overcomes Harsh Environments

Integrated Circuit Chip Improves Network Efficiency

Industrial Productivity

Novel Process Revolutionizes Welding Industry

Sensors Increase Productivity in Harsh Environments

Portable Device Analyzes Rocks and Minerals

NASA Design Strengthens Welds

Polyimide Boosts High-Temperature Performance

NASA Innovation Builds Better Nanotubes

The 2008 edition of Spinoff is free online, with each of these 50 stories available in full for your reading pleasure. Even if you just give the headlines a skim here, the variety of accomplishments is pretty impressive. [Spinoff]