The National Bureau of Standards began to sell these microspheres, which it called “space beads” as Standard Reference Materials (SRMs). The National Bureau of Standards developed five SRMs based on space beads, which became the first space-manufactured products to be offered for commercial sale.
Space beads are still sold by the National Bureau of Standards (now renamed the National Institute of Standards and Technology.) Purchasers have included major companies in the pharmaceutical, petrochemical, chemical, and biomedical-instrumentation industries, supply houses, government customers (the EPA, FDA, US Geological Survey, Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories, and NASA), and non-profit laboratories such as the Battelle Memorial Institute. International purchasers include laboratories in Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, England, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Norway, Spain, Switzerland, and Thailand.
Who would have thought the first industry to make money in space manufacturing would be latex? Vandelay Industries has a killer app at last!