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  • - [Narrator] There's this amazing picture of my coworker.

  • It's him reading a Ninja Turtles book,

  • lying next to a SuperSoaker.

  • When the SuperSoaker came out,

  • it was a game changer.

  • The slogan "wetter is better" was essentially

  • a mantra for kids during summer break.

  • So when I went to Atlanta to interview

  • the guy responsible for all of that,

  • I had to show him the photo.

  • (Laughs)

  • - That's funny.

  • - [Narrator] Lonnie Johnson invented the SuperSoaker

  • back in 1982.

  • But, that is not his only invention.

  • - Well, I have over a hundred patents.

  • - [Narrator] Everything from the Nerf gun

  • to a thermoelectric energy converter.

  • He also worked on NASA's Galileo mission to Jupiter

  • and alongside the U.S. military.

  • - For the first SuperSoaker, actually, I made

  • in my shop in my basement in the evenings

  • when I would come home from work.

  • And at the time I was actually working

  • on the Stealth Bomber program,

  • back when it was highly classified

  • and I actually couldn't even tell my wife

  • what I was working on during the daytime.

  • It was that top secret.

  • - [Narrator] The original name for the SuperSoaker was

  • The Drencher.

  • - We ran into a challenge regarding the name

  • because another inventor claimed it.

  • So we changed the name to SuperSoaker

  • just to avoid having to deal with that.

  • - [Narrator] SuperSoaker is definitely

  • a way better name.

  • When he started, Lonnie wasn't trying

  • to create a toy for kids.

  • - I was working on a new type of heat pump

  • that would use water as a working fluid

  • instead of freon.

  • And I was experimenting with some nozzles

  • that I machined and I shot a stream of water

  • across the bathroom and I thought,

  • "Geez, maybe I should put this hard science stuff aside

  • "and work on something fun like a water gun."

  • It still works.

  • - [Narrator] And this brings me back

  • to a previous point.

  • Lonnie Johnson is a super genius scientist.

  • This is his lab.

  • And this is what he's working on now.

  • - Yeah, right now I'm working on advanced

  • battery technology.

  • My goal is to develop a battery

  • that will store about three times the energy

  • of a lithium ion battery.

  • - [Narrator] In comparison the SuperSoaker

  • might not seem as hard science,

  • but it was still a really, really important invention.

- [Narrator] There's this amazing picture of my coworker.

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The NASA Scientist Who Invented the Super Soaker

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    許大善   に公開 2019 年 11 月 26 日
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