The story

In these cash-strapped times, you might well wonder why governments around the world continue to pour millions of dollars in to their respective space programs.

But one of the very important by-products of space exploration has been the adaptation and invention of medical equipment and technologies which are making individual lives better and in many cases saving them.

Most people are familiar with temper foam -- perhaps the most famous of NASA's many medical spinoffs -- which started life protecting astronauts' posteriors in the 1960s and is now used in a host of products from mattresses to athletic shoes. Read full article »