Well, apparently quite a lot. At least, that is the impression I get from the Nasa toy I found over at the Other Worlds Cafe’s Science Fiction Brewed Daily. You open it up and it takes you through a virtual home room by room, listing all the different that were developed as spinoffs of or impacted by Nasa research. It is a pretty long list. The city feature also takes you into a virtual city to different places like the hospital to give the same sort of tour there. It’s nifty. Check it out.
In a related note, if you are like me (and a lot of the general public) you don’t pay much attention to Nasa these days. I mean, really, their publicists are pretty crappy. They only seem to make the news when they screw something up. Anyway, my point is that you may not be aware of how much they are actually doing right now. For example, did you know there were more than 20 active missions in 2008? They included closer looks at other planets – Mercury and Venus as well as Mars – and moons of other planets, and even a comet. Dip on over to The Planetary Society for a full run down on what our taxpayer’s dollars have been up to in outer space this past year.