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Google's Nexus S to join iPhone on Space Shuttle Atlantis

updated 11:40 pm EDT, Thu July 7, 2011

Atlantis to carry Android and iOS on last shuttle

The last Space Shuttle flight will have Android alongside the two iPhones when Atlantis launches on Friday, NASA said the day before. Two Google Nexus S phones will be taken to the International Space Station to expand the features of SPHERES (Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites), drones used to test spacecraft techniques and satellite maintenance. The phones will give the floating pods freedom to be controlled from the ground, cameras for a first-person view, and extra performance than they would have on their own.

An upgrade will turn the devices into effective servant robots for the crew, the Intelligent Robotics Group's DW Wheeler told CNET. Among the possibilities are scanning supplies or looking for clear flaws. The goal is to ultimately keep ISS crew members focused on their missions and not on menial tasks.

The phones' installation is estimated to happen in September or October.

Carrying both of the two major American smartphone platforms may be symbolic for Atlantis. For many, Apple and Google together represent the new forefront of US technology while the Space Shuttle is bowing out over 30 years after it too was the cutting edge. The iPhones and Nexus S phones are both being used to conduct experiments that wouldn't have been possible on Earth or before modern smartphones.

Atlantis is scheduled to launch at 11:26AM Eastern and, appropriately, will have live streaming coverage optimized both for Android and iPhone viewers.

by MacNN Staff



  1. nowwhatareyoulookingat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    they have to use SOMETHING

    for a door stop....

  1. slapppy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Google equal to Apple

    Google is not Apple. Their just ripoff artist.

  1. wrenchy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    re: Google equal to Apple

    Yes. And Steve Jobs never steals, or rips off, or copies. Oh we all know that.

    I don't have to bring up the famous Steve Jobs video of good vs great artists...


  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Googl equal apple

    Right. When Apple isn't first in with something (say, MP3 players), they're not ripping off the other folks, they're just getting into the market at the right time. When Apple is first with something, everyone else is just 'ripping them off'.

  1. dliup

    Joined: Dec 1969


    android lagging

    Remotely controlling a drone is possible through iPhone for years.

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