We’re not sure what we love most in these vintage public service announcements: the retro filming, the awkward dialogue, the sometimes bizarre celebrity combos (Gloria Steinem and Chuck Heston?), or the valuable information about NASA’s spin-off technologies.
Created in 1980s by the U.S. Space Foundation — a space industry advocacy group — the videos serve to inform the public about how U.S. investments in space pay off here on Earth. NASA’s current budget accounts for about half a percentage of the entire national budget but, as these videos show, that money pays back in dividends. Calculations estimate that for every dollar that taxpayers put into the Apollo program, they received four to seven dollars in beneficial technology, such as advanced medical imaging and weather-forecasting satellites.
Here, we present some of these technology spin-offs, brought to you by videos that look like they’d be wedged in a commercial break between daytime soap operas and episodes of court TV. Each features a celebrity duo from opposite sides of their field that come together over their love of space technology. You can also catch some of NASA’s more recent celebrity endorsers, including June Lockhart, William Shatner, Will.i.am, and Alex Trebek, in films that are sure to become vintage fodder for future generations.
Watch them all @ Wired Science!
With the Independence Day holiday upon us, it’s time to unwind, think about our founding fathers, and drink our weight in booze. There’s nothing wrong with a little celebration, but getting into your vehicle while drunk isn’t just illegal, it’s also incredibly dangerous and stupid. So, to help remind the inebriated to seek a designated driver when things get blurry, the state of Michigan has enlisted the help of technology. Technology and urine.