Sunday, February 5, 2012

6 NASA technologies in play at the Super Bowl

6 NASA technologies in play at the Super Bowl

Author: dew buywow


The first Super Bowl, pitting the Green Bay Packers against the Kansas City Chiefs, wasn’t even called the Super Bowl. It was the AFL-NFL Championship Game, played at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, and only two-thirds of the available tickets were sold.

Things have changed a bit.

The 46th edition of the game, Super Bowl XLVI on Sunday featuring the New York Giants and New England Patriots, will be viewed on TV by more than 100 million people around the world, commanding millions of dollars for each 30 seconds of commercial time, and can even be viewed online. And it’s safe to say the game organizers in Indianapolis don’t have to worry about selling tickets.
The growth of the Super Bowl, and football and sports in general, has many contributing factors, including marketing, the disposable income of fans, and the teams and games themselves. But technology has been key, making it possible to see games better, communicate about them, share video clips and play fantasy football online.

And some of those technologies were born in government programs — such as the Internet, for one, which makes online viewing, fantasy leagues, crazed statistical minutiae, clip sharing, online wagering and Super Bowl tweeting possible.

Probably no other government agency invented more technologies on display in the game than NASA. The space program has incubated a lot of everyday technologies, of course — either invented by NASA or by contractors for the program — such as water filter systems, the microwave, bar codes, the artificial heart and the miniaturization of practically everything. The agency has a site, NASA Spinoff, devoted to its inventions.

In their own way, some of those technologies have played a part in making sports, and the Super Bowl, what it is today. Here are six of them.

1. Helmets and pads.

The G-forces experienced in liftoff and re-entry during space flights made for a rough ride for astronauts, so NASA developed a variety of shock-absorbent foams to protect them. The foams could conform to the shape of an object under pressure, then return to their original shape. Now they’re used in helmets as well as shoulder, and knee and elbow pads (not to mention the memory foam pillows and other cushioning that can make watching the Super Bowl a completely inert experience).

The first Super Bowl, pitting the Green Bay Packers against the Kansas City Chiefs, wasn’t even called the Super Bowl. It was the AFL-NFL Championship Game, played at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, and only two-thirds of the available tickets were sold.

http://www.basearticles.com/Art/871625/32/6-NASA-technologies-in-play-at-the-Super-Bowl.html

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