NASA scientist's incredible invention: You won't believe his most famous creation

Written by Henrik Rothen

Sep.12 - 2023 1:54 PM CET

Photo: Shutterstock.com
Photo: Shutterstock.com
You won't believe his most famous creation.

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Lonnie Johnson might not be a household name, but if you grew up in the '90s, 2000s, or 2010s, you've likely played with something he invented.

Johnson, primarily an engineer for NASA and the U.S. Air Force, has also ventured into the realm of invention, and quite successfully at that.

Johnson's engineering prowess extends beyond space missions to Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars. He's also responsible for a toy that has sold millions of units worldwide—the modern water gun.

The story of its invention is as fascinating as the man himself. While working on a new type of heat pump in the late '80s, Johnson accidentally "shot water across the room" and realized he had inadvertently created an improved version of the water gun.

This accidental discovery led Johnson to think,

"Why not design an exciting water gun?" And so he did. In 1989, the 'Super Soaker' was born, revolutionizing water guns by allowing them to shoot farther, faster, and more powerfully than ever before.

The Super Soaker laid the foundation for modern water guns and has been a staple in children's playtime around the world.

But Johnson's inventiveness doesn't stop there. He's also the man behind many of Nerf's popular 'Nerf Guns,' further solidifying his status as a prolific inventor.

With a career that spans from top-secret military technology to iconic children's toys, Lonnie Johnson is a living testament to the boundless possibilities of human ingenuity.

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