iPhone 4s In Space Aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis

News | Saturday July 9 2011 5:27 PM | Comments (0) Tags: , , , ,

, but NASA has taken things to the next level.
Yesterday, Space shuttle Atlantis took off from Kennedy Space Center in Florida on its final mission carrying two iPhone 4 to International Space Station (ISS).
An iOS application called SpaceLab for iOS developed by Odyssey Space Research has been installed on the iPhones, which makes use of three-axis gyroscopes and accelerometers in the
– This navigation experiment will involve taking photographs of the Earth and matching an arc to the horizon through manipulation of an overlay. This performs the function roughly equivalent to a “manual” horizon sensor. It will yield an estimate of altitude (height above the surface) and “off axis” angle, a measurement of the angle of the image with respect to the Earth’s center.
– This sensor calibration experiment uses a series of photos of a reference image, combined with propagated information using three-axis gyro and accelerometer measurements to calibrate the gyros and the accelerometers (i.e. bias and scale coefficients). This will improve the knowledge and accuracy of subsequent measurements.
– State Acquisition – This navigation experiment uses a series of photos of a reference image and of the Earth, combined with information from the three-axis gyro and accelerometer, to estimate the position of the spacecraft (latitude and longitude). The position estimation is generated by manipulating and matching a wireframe overlay of the Earth’s coastlines to the acquired Earth image(s). Performing multiple sequences, separated by a known amount of time, can permit estimation of the spacecraft’s orbit parameters.
– This experiment will characterize the effects of radiation on the device by monitoring certain areas of memory for Single Bit Upsets – an unintended change in value of a memory location caused by exposure to radiation.
The space shuttle Atlantis’ STS-135 mission will last for 12 days, but the iPhone will remain in space aboard ISS and will be returned to Earth via the Russian Soyuz vehicle, as early as this fall. The data collected will be analysed and shared via the SpaceLab for iOS app.
If you want to get a sense of the experiments and tasks to be performed by astronauts on the ISS, then checkout the SpaceLab for iOS app (
) that is available in the App Store. Some features are simulated to account for the presence of gravity.
Let us know how it goes in the comments.

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