Sunday, December 26, 2010

Android in Space

If you ever wondered if a plain Android smartphone would actually work in the edges of space, you'll now be able to find out: as a Google tem decided to take Android into Space.

And they did it with nothing less than 7 high-altitude balloons, each carrying a special payload that included the newest Google Phones: yes, thats right, seven Nexus S floating into space, and using every embedded sensor to log data: GPS, gyroscopes, accelerometers, magnetometer... the works!

The result was lots of interesting data to analyze: one of the payloads reached an altitude of 107,375 ft., over 20 miles high, and another reached a speed of 139 mph (that's pretty fast for a balloon, courtesy of the friendly jetstream currents :)

They also found that the Nexus S GPS worked just fine at altitudes up to 60,000 feet (which will serve to prove that you can actually track your transcontinental flight using it while flying in an commercial airliner).

If you're in Portugal and want to see how this kind of stuff works, I invite you to keep an eye on the Spacebits team. They're might not be shooting Nexus S's into space, but I can guarantee the fun is just the same. :)

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