'Arthur Christmas' Teams WIth NASA To Explain Space Spinoff Technology (VIDEO)

12/01/2011 05:12 pm ET | Updated Dec 01, 2011

NASA has partnered with the makers of the computer-animated film "Arthur Christmas" to create a video explaining how technology that the space agency has developed is being used in everyday life.

In the kid-friendly video, Elf 6409EF, the squeaky narrator, tells viewers that "Many NASA technologies originally made for space change into new things that benefit our lives on Earth."

The elf explains that mattresses, baby formula and clean-water technology, among other things, incorporate technology from the space agency.


"This was an exciting opportunity for us to have real examples of space technology being used right here on Earth featured in a family holiday film," Daniel Lockney, NASA's technology transfer program executive said in a statement. "NASA is constantly creating innovative technologies to enable our current and future missions. Many of these technologies get further developed and turned into consumer products by American industries, creating jobs, fueling the economy, and saving and improving lives around the planet."

NASA makes no secret that it's eager to get out its message to the taxpayers about the everyday benefits of NASA-funded research.

Every year since 1976, NASA has published Spinoff, a magazine showcasing technologies that the administration says transferred from NASA to the private sector.

According to NASA, the publication accomplishes three goals:

First, it is a convincing justification for the continued expenditure of NASA funds. It serves as a tool to educate the media and the general public by informing them about the benefits and dispelling the myth of wasted taxpayer dollars. It reinforces interest in space exploration. It demonstrates the possibility to apply aerospace technology in different environments. It highlights the ingenuity of American inventors, entrepreneurs, and application engineers, and the willingness of a government agency to assist them. And finally, it continues to ensure global competitiveness and technological leadership by the United States.

But some critics say that NASA overstates the effect it's had on everyday products.

Bob Park, a professor of physics at the University of Maryland, debunker of science myths and author of the book "Voodoo Science," said much of NASA's claims of science and earthly technological benefits is advertising hokum that helps companies sell items as being developed in space.

"If you trace them, there's nothing there," Park said. "Teflon, Tang, nothing was invented in space. Space used it."

Nevertheless, this holiday season NASA says their research has been incorporated into toy Nerf gliders. That means something many kids could find under the tree this year will have been designed with a little help from the space program.

In November, President Obama approved $17.8 billion for the 2012 NASA budget. According to Reuters, that's $684 million less than the administration's 2011 budget, and nearly a billion dollars less than the president requested.

"Arthur Christmas" opened in theaters on November 23, and the clip below premiered on the Smithsonian Channel the previous day.

WATCH: Arthur Christmas: Elf 6409EF Discusses NASA Technology: