The Moon: Spin-Offs from Space

ASIDE from its value in terms of national prestige and scientific knowledge, the U.S. space effort has yielded some important—if not always immediately measurable —benefits on earth. The most obvious fallout has been economic. At its peak in 1966, Apollo employed 400,000 people, from Long Island to Seattle. The technological impact has been less conspicuous. But in scarcely more than a decade, research has produced hundreds of what NASA calls "space technology transfers" that apply everywhere from factory to surgical ward.

New space-age sealants, developed for caulking seams in spacecraft, now plug the gaps between bathroom tiles. Latex paints, developed as...

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