NASA has released its first mobile application for Google's Android mobile platform with software that shows how innovations from the space agency have changed people's lives.
The NASA Spinoff App for Android shows products and technologies NASA has created that have had an impact on how people live their daily lives, according to a blog post that pokes fun at a common NASA myth.
"You've probably heard all the hype about Tang being invented as a drink for the astronauts. Well, we hate to say this -- but that's not true," according to the post. "But lots of other amazing technologies have been invented by NASA or through NASA-funded research and now we've got an App for that."
NASA technology has been commercialized in a variety of fields, including health and medicine, transportation, public safety, consumer goods, environmental resources, and computer technology. The application allows people to search a database of NASA-invented technologies as well as provides a feed to the latest technology news from the agency.
It also gives a map of locations where the NASA "spinoff" technology is being used, a historical timeline of inventions, and a database of NASA's available licensing opportunities.
NASA has already offered a free application for the iPhone, iTouch, and iPad that provides users with NASA images and videos as well as news information about missions. According to the blog post, the agency is working on more applications for both Apple and Android-based smartphones.
NASA is one of the federal agencies at the forefront of using technology to engage the public in its mission and activities. In addition to its mobile applications, the agency also has partnered with Flickr to make available historical photographs; with Archive-it to create a Web archive of social networking activity by the agency; and with Microsoft to offer a Web experience showcasing photographs taken by NASA spacecraft.