iPhone 4 is Space-Bound

iPhone 4s will be taken aboard the International Space Station to help conduct ground-breaking experiments.  Odyssey Space Research LLC, has developed an iOS app that will take advantage of the iPhones built-in mechanisms, including the three-axis gyro and accelerometer.

In an excerpt from their official press release, Odyssey states:

“The SpaceLab for iOS app will utilize the innovative features of iPhone 4, including the three-axis gyro, accelerometer, Retina display, cameras and A4 chip, for space-based research. The crew will conduct various experiments to collect data which could one day find use in practical applications, such as the recovery of navigation information for a spacecraft that might be “lost in space.”

The “SpaceLab for iOS” app includes the following experiments:

  • Limb Tracker – A navigation experiment involving taking pictures of Earth and matching an arc to the horizon for an estimate of altitude.
  • Sensor Cal – A sensor calibration experiment, again, using photos, combined with information from the three-axis gyro and accelerometer.
  • State Acquisition – Another navigation experiment using images and the three-axis gyro/accelerometer to estimate the position of the spacecraft.
  • Lifecycle Flight Instrumentation - An experiment regarding effects of radiation on the device.

With the help of NanoRacks LLC, both iPhone 4s will be housed in a NanoLab which is a “small microgravity research platform” destined for the ISS.

And good news for those of you wanting to get your hands on the app.  A public,  functional version has been made available on the App Store for only .99 cents!  The only difference between the official and public apps is that “certain features [are] simulated to account for the presence of gravity.”

“The opportunity to make the experience accessible to anyone via the App Store will attract a new generation of space supporters,” said Odyssey CEO, Brian Rishikof.

Before NASA could allow them onboard the ISS, both iPhone 4s were put through a battery of tests, which verified that they did not emit noxious or dangerous gases or cause electronic interference.

The iPhone 4s will arrive at the ISS after the Shuttle Atlantis launches on July 8th for its final journey into space…and history.

(for more NASA related apps, visit their Featured Apps page)

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