If you plan to give Dad a cordless power tool this Father’s Day, you can thank NASA for the great gift idea.
According to Howstuffworks.com, Black and Decker created the cordless idea back in 1961 with battery operated tools, but NASA helped refine the technology that led to lightweight, cordless medical instruments, hand-held vacuum cleaners and other tools.
In the mid-1960s, to prepare for the Apollo missions to the moon, NASA needed a tool that astronauts could use to obtain samples of rocks and soil. The drill had to be lightweight, compact and powerful enough to dig deep into the surface of the moon. Since rigging up a cord to a drill in outer space would be a difficult feat, NASA and Black & Decker invented a battery-powered, magnet-motor drillWorking in the context of a limited space environment, Black & Decker developed a computer program for the tool that reduced the amount of power expended during use to maximize battery life.
After the NASA project, Black & Decker applied the same principles to make other lightweight, battery-powered tools for everyday consumers.