Smithsonian Channel tonight will show a one-minute clip created by Sony Pictures Animation to help bring attention to the many ways NASA technology improves everyday life. It uses visuals from Arthur Christmas, the studio’s 3D holiday feature that opens Tues., Nov. 23 and stars the voices of James McAvoy, Jim Broadbent, Bill Nighy and Imelda Staunton.
The segment is tied to NASA’s Spinoff, a website and annual report that document how NASA research, technologies and developments are transferred from the space program into practical applications and commercial products. Black & Decker worked with NASA to develop the cordless rotary hammer drill for the Apollo moon program, for example, and later invented the Dustbuster using some of what it learned on that project. Memory foam is another NASA brainchild, although despite popular belief, Tang and quartz clocks are not.
So what does this have to do with the movie? In Arthur Christmas (pictured), which was directed by Sarah Smith, Santa’s North Pole has turned to high technology to run a precise operation in getting billions of gifts delivered around the world. Run by thousands of computer-savvy elves, the North Pole uses NASA-style technology to track the delivery of gifts around the Earth as they are being delivered by Santa’s high speed S-1, a giant spacecraft in the shape of a sleigh.
In addition to the Smithsonian Channel broadcast tonight, the clip can be seen below.
“This was an exciting opportunity for us to have real examples of space technology being used right here on Earth featured in a family holiday film,” said Daniel Lockney, NASA’s technology transfer program executive at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “NASA is constantly creating innovative technologies to enable our current and future missions. Many of these technologies get further developed and turned into consumer products by American industries, creating jobs, fueling the economy, and saving and improving lives around the planet.”