07/11/2011 11:59 am ET Updated Sep 10, 2011

The 9 Strangest NASA Research Experiments: Crash Test Corpses, Drinkable Urine, Spiders On Drugs And More

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was formed in 1958 as the United States intensified its efforts in the space race against the Soviet Union. Since then, NASA's research has broadened to encompass everything from "space exploration, scientific discovery and aeronautics research".

On July 8, the space shuttle Atlantis, carrying four crew members (Rex Walheim, Sandy Magnus, pilot Doug Hurley and commander Chris Ferguson) and an assortment of supplies and spare parts, embarked on its final 12-day mission to the International Space Station. Despite it being NASA's last shuttle launch, the agency will continue research on other facets of science.

Home to some of the world's brightest minds, NASA researchers are credited with inventing some of the strangest high-tech products, many of them unrelated to space research. For example, NASA's engineers have helped Michael Phelps win gold medals, have developed unique fragrances for the perfume industry and have even observed the effects of drugs on spiders.

Browse through the agency's oddest experiments (below), and vote for the ones you find strangest. Do you know of stranger experiments conducted by NASA? Leave your tips in the comments.