When NASA was looking for ways to make sure the Apollo spacecraft and space suits were habitable for astronauts, it started experimenting in the field of insulation. Both the fierce cold of space and the heat generated upon re-entry would prove deadly if the astronauts were unprotected, and one example of an application that emerged from this need was the Apollo command module's radiant heat shield.
Advances in insulation helped raise awareness about radiant barriers and other improved insulation methods, which resulted in spinoff products that are used in all sorts of applications today. One example can be found in construction. Many residential and commercial buildings erected over the past decade and a half include insulation that was developed following NASA's lead. Superior insulation helps save on energy costs and is one of the cornerstones of the Energy Star's qualification requirements for building certification.