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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.
- 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.


The NASA Scientist Who Invented the Super Soaker

227 タグ追加 保存
許大善 2019 年 11 月 26 日 に公開
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