NASA Is Sending An iPhone To Space! Take A Tour Of The Cool App Astronauts Will Be Using

iphone space shuttle

Photo: App Advice

Outer space is just awesome. And when NASA decides send iPhones into space, we get excited.On July 8, two iPhones will be aboard STS-135, the final space shuttle mission. Odyssey Space Research, a Houston-based tech and research firm, has developed an iOS app called Spacelab that will be loaded on these phones.

The app takes advantage of the iPhone’s hardware to estimate altitude, attempt to read QR codes in zero gravity, calculate position in space, and measure radiation.

Somewhat curiously, this app is available for purchase in the App Store for $0.99. We bought it and took a look around. The app’s capabilities are somewhat limited when you’re stuck on Earth, but have a look at what the astronauts will be using next month.

You're greeted with an animation of the International Space Station...

...and on board is, of course, an iPhone 4

Here's the app's menu. We're pretty limited to what we can do on the ground, but let's try the limb tracker

Enter your name, for some reason

Enter your altitude. (Our altitude was an educated guess)

Get ready to take a picture of Earth

Ideally you should be able to see some curvature.

You stretch the red lines to cover the curves of the Earth

Mostly flat for us

The app tells us we're roughly 24,000 kilometers above Earth. This is clearly incorrect, but remember -- not only is this experimental, but it's meant to be used aboard a spaceship as well

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