Taking Innovation Out of This World
Throughout our 175-year history, we’ve gone to great lengths to innovate and develop products that make your everyday routines just a little bit better. You can find our products in homes all around the world.
But you might be surprised to learn that we’ve even taken our thirst for innovation, well …out of this world… thanks to a partnership with NASA that allows us to study the properties of some of our products in space, with experiments currently being conducted at the International Space Station.
Our partnership with NASA dates back more than three years. And while the details of the experiments are highly technical, they’re expected to yield results that we will all benefit from in everyday life: improved shelf life, enhanced product quality and reduced product development time.
P&G Principal Scientist Matt Lynch said that, in a company where employees are always focused on making everyday life a little bit better for consumers, his work with NASA and the International Space Station provides a special opportunity.
“We make a lot of products, and we’re always learning more about the physics behind what makes the product stable,” he said. “The work we do in space makes it easier to decode complicated physics, ultimately resulting in a better consumer experience.
“It’s fantastic to be able to do that,” he said. “Nothing is cooler than watching your experiments go into space … to solve some of these really challenging problems. It’s a great experience.”
Through its partner, SpaceX, NASA will soon be launching Matt’s research back down to earth. Upon its return, Matt and his P&G colleagues will be able to uncover the new discoveries gained from the experiments and use what they’ve learned to improve the products you use every day.
“This is a really exciting time,” he said.
So the next time you enjoy using one of your favorite P&G brands, remember that the science behind it might have begun in orbit, before making the trip all the way to your heart.
From left, P&G Principal Scientist Matt Lynch, Harvard Graduate Student Tom Kodger and NASA representatives Chris Lant and Lou Chestney work remotely on P&G experiments, some of which are housed at the International Space Station. (Photo courtesy of NASA.)