In conjunction with our celebration of the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11, this month's Here's an Idea episode features an interview with Daniel Coleman, editor of the publication NASA Spin-Off.

Many of the technologies we use today – from memory foam to our phone cameras – were first developed in NASA missions. In this special edition of Here's an Idea, Coleman reveals all kinds of everyday tools and materials that began with one small step toward the Moon.

Listen to the episode below.

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Episode Highlights:

  • (1:20) What is the Spin-Off publication?
  • (2:10) What is a "spin-off" technology?
  • (2:58) Why are spin-off technologies so important?
  • (4:18) Are you ever surprised by the range of spin-off applications?
  • (5:14) What are some of the most popular NASA spin-off technologies?
  • (6:14) What are the most important spin-off technologies from the Apollo 11 mission?
  • (10:03) Are there any spin-off technologies that we'd be surprised to know came from Apollo 11?
  • (12:28) Are there any aspects of the Apollo 11 mission that you think are overlooked?
  • (13:45) How do the spin-offs of today differ from the spin-offs of Apollo 11?
  • (17:02) What are the best ways to keep the lines of communication open between NASA and organizations that want to commercialize the technology?

In addition to this podcast episode, make sure to read Tech Briefs' Apollo 11 feature article series. We explore Apollo's Impacts and consider NASA's Next Giant Leap; we get a NASA Astronaut's View of a Return to the Moon; we explore NASA's next mission On to Mars and the ushering in of a New Era of Space Exploration; and we highlight the Apollo 11 Spinoff Technologies We Still Use Today.

a 1972 photo of an F-8 Digital Fly-By-Wire (DFBW) aircraft in flight, by the mounstains
Following the successful use of a flight computer during the Apollo program, a partnership between NASA and Draper Laboratory resulted in the first plane flown digitally. Here is a 1972 photo of an F-8 Digital Fly-By-Wire (DFBW) aircraft in flight. This kind of digital fly-by-wire system is just one example of an Apollo 11-spin-off technology that we commonly use today. (Image Credit: NASA)

Want more Here's an Idea? Listen to our previous episodes, focusing on everything from asteroids to car hacking.

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