Time Names 50 Best Inventions Of '09

Time Magazine selected the 50 best inventions of 2009. Topping the list are NASA’s Ares rockets, which take us one step closer to a Jetsons-like world of planet-hopping joy:

The new rockets could take astronauts to some thrilling places. The biggest costs – and risks – associated with visiting other celestial bodies are from landing and taking off again. But suppose you don’t land? An independent commission appointed by the White House to make recommendations for NASA’s future recently returned its 154-page report and made strong arguments for bypassing the familiar boots-in-the-soil scenario in favor of a flexible path of flybys and orbits.

Also making the cut are the AIDS vaccine, the electric eye and the solar shingle.

The list’s most egregious error is the overlooking of the magnificent KFC Double Down.

The 50 Best Inventions of 2009 [Time]
(Photo: NASA)