Top 10 Worst NASA Inventions Ever

NASA is the world’s leading space agency. This organization has been instrumental for many space related missions into outer space. NASA not only helped to get people into space they also managed to create some pretty amazing products as well.

Most of the inventions that NASA created were for their astronauts. Honestly, NASA does not have any bad inventions except for a whole bunch of space shuttles that never made launch.

The following information will describe the 10 worst NASA inventions ever.

10. Zero-Gravity Space Pen


The Zero-Gravity Space Pen is a writing tool that NASA has used in outer space when they sent people into this part of the universe. The Zero-Gravity Space Pen has the ability to write in space without astronauts worrying about broken lead or pencil shavings damaging their pencil shavings. This pen worked on the principle of pressurized nitrogen which allowed it to write upside down in space and in underwater conditions.

NASA did not create this pen but a man but an engineer named Paul C. Fisher. Many people wrongly assumed that NASA made this pen for millions of dollars but it simply was not true. NASA used the pen but never invented it. NASA has a track record of making products that actually work and have commercial use. Making solid products serve a purpose and is extremely important because this is how NASA funds its organization.

9. SERV Shuttle

SERV Shuttle Top Popular Worst NASA Inventions Ever 2019

NASA does develop its own space shuttles but sometimes it had to outsource work. In this case the Chrysler corporation was trying to make a shuttle that operated with a vertical take-off and landing approach. This rocket was going to be used primarily for unmanned space missions. NASA scrapped this shuttle idea. They did not think it would be useful for them to send something like this into outer space. As a result, the Chrysler corporation had no choice but to stop working on this project. This took place between 1969 and 1971.

8. Rockwell Breadbox

Rockwell Breadbox Top Famous Worst NASA Inventions Ever 2019

In 1972 NASA decided not go through with the plans for a shuttle that would be made wide and squat. This shuttle was dubbed the Breadbox and it was a shuttle that relied on a sideways cargo bay. The vehicle was big but it did not sacrifice any of its ability to fly or maneuver. As a result, the ship met the demands that NASA made. However, this ship was cancelled because it was not what exactly was looking for or needed. This ship is known as the Rockwell C-1057.

7. Shuttle II


The years 1985 to 1988 was a busy time period for NASA. The space vehicle known as the Challenger was lost and they needed to develop a newer and more reliable shuttle. This ship had to be able to safely bring astronauts home without harm. So, the NASA Langely Research Center tried to come up with a newer shuttle that would be practical. However, this shuttle never manifested due to design problems, funding and it being a practical way to transport astronauts.

6. Lockheed Martin VentureStar


Starting around 1996 NASA realized that their fleets were getting old and it was time to start look for something new. The Reusable Launch Vehicle was up for consideration. Many shuttle building companies at the time competed for this project but only Lockheed Martin was selected to complete the project. This company had the expertise to get the job done.

Also, Lockheed won the contract because they offered an inexpensive alternative to other models that were being evaluated. The Lockheed Martin VentureStar was chosen to be this type of vehicle. The unit could not be created because it was extremely heavy and it had too many problems with its nitrogen tank. As a result, it had to be scrapped for something more practical.

5. Phase B Shuttles


Phase B Shuttles were being considered in the 70’s. These style of space shuttles were made for transportation or ferrying missions into space. They would have frequently transferred personnel and equipment into space. NASA had to team up with United States Air Force (USAF) to complete this project. The USAF wanted the Phase B shuttles to be used for military related missions. Ultimately, NASA would have needed to make huge ships that were impractical to fly. They had no choice but to stop the project because it was not feasible for NASA to complete.

4. Shuttle C


Shuttle C was considered for launch in 1989 but it never panned out. The shuttle was inefficient for what NASA needed it for. The payload of the shuttle was too heavy and cumbersome for space travel. NASA was looking to start missions to Mars during that time. They realized that they would need a lightweight ship that would literally go to the red planet. However, these ships needed to be lightweight and easy to manage. The unit had the ability to have a disposable cargo package. However, it was not practical for what NASA really wanted to do at the time.

3. Buran


The Buran was an unusual space craft because it was developed inside of the U.S. program between 74 and 93. This particular craft was designed to move practically into space. It was a great ship with a proven ability to perform. However, this was extremely expensive to make.

NASA made this ship and launched it only one time. It was such a problem in terms of foreign dealings. This ship was emulated by the Russians and it ended up playing a critical role with the decline of the Russian space program. The Buran was retired after its first and only mission. People wondered why NASA paid so much to construct a ship they were never going to use over the long haul.

2. USAF Air Launched Sortie Vehicle


During the 1980’s the USAF came up with the plans to launch a sortie (mission) vehicle that would recover satellites and that would carry out some military operations. However, this craft never came to be. It was supposed to be deployed at a moment’s notice from any place on the planet. This craft never made it into existence because NASA and the USAF realized that it would be extremely complex and expensive to manufacture. As a result, this design was cancelled and it never came into existence.

1. Hermes


The Hermes was considered by NASA between 75 and 93. This particular space traveling craft was being developed by the French and the European Space Agency. NASA looked into what these two organizations were doing and had plans to use some of the things that they discovered about the shuttle. However, they did not follow through with these ideas.

NASA had its own set of ships it was considering at the time. The Hermes just did not meet the needs of their space program. As a result, this shuttle mode stayed on the table with the Europeans where it was ultimately shelved. NASA saved themselves a lot of money and wasted time by not taking on this project.

Once again, NASA is not going to put out any bad inventions into public. Too much is riding on this organization that must be a sound and stable agency that is able to effectively, efficiently and safely put people into space while getting them back home again.

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