Smartphones in Space!

NASA uses Google Android phones to assist with robotics work

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On the last manned space shuttle Atlantis mission (STS-135), two Android-powered Google Nexus S phones went along for the ride. The phones were used to help astronauts explore how robots could help humans with experiments and live in space more efficiently.

According to Google, NASA used the phones to upgrade three robotic satellite balls called SPHERES (Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites), which look a lot like the spheres used in the Star Wars films (especially when they're in zero gravity).

Another nice note from the video - the space station has a Wi-Fi network! I'm sure it's been there a while, but this was the first time I've heard it mentioned.

Read more of Keith Shaw's ITworld.TV blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Keith on Twitter at @shawkeith. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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