Android Nexus S phones sent into space by NASA

This is so cool! Google has proudly announced Android in spaaaace! (Part 2). What's this? Google's Android Nexus S superphones have been sent into space by NASA to work with the robots! NASA sent two Android-powered Samsung Nexus S smartphones on the last manned space shuttle Atlantis as part of the STS-135 mission. The goal is to use Google Nexus S on the International Space Station to explore how robots can help humans experiment and live in space more efficiently.

The STS-135 mission is the final flight of the Space Shuttle Program. Atlantis' STS-135 mission will deliver the Raffaello multi-purpose logistics module filled with supplies and spare parts to sustain space station operations after the shuttles are retired.

According to The Official Google blog, NASA is using Samsung Nexus S phones to upgrade a trio of volleyball-sized SPHERES (Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites), originally developed by MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). The Google phones help the robotic satellites perform tasks the astronauts used to do, like recording sensor data and capturing video footage. In the future, the phones will control and maneuver the SPHERES using the IOIO board and possibly the Android Open Accessory Development Kit (ADK).
A couple of our engineers built an open source sensor logging app that NASA decided was perfect for running diagnostics with the SPHERES. You can download the same app yourself from Android Market. NASA was interested in Android because it’s an open source platform, which makes it easy to customize the software on the phone to meet the specifications required to fly in space and work with the SPHERES. Nexus S was also a good fit because of its various sensors and low-powered, but high-performing, processor.
This is not the first time for Android to be in space. As a reminder, Android ventured into near space back in December 2010 - Android In Spaaaace! (Part 1).

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