Today marks the end of an era; NASA has successfully launched a Shuttle into orbit for the last time. On this launch, the crew took along a few extra items that you may not have expected to be on the final flight, an iPhone and an Android device.
NASA reports that for the first time, an iPhone will be used for experimental research onboard the Shuttle. The post states:
A Houston company called Odyssey Space Research developed an application for the Apple smartphone that is meant to help the astronauts track their scientific results and perhaps one day aid navigation. The device will be housed inside a small research platform built by NanoRacks. The platform will be placed inside the station.
Interestingly, the post mentions nothing of Android, but Robert Scoble, who attended the launch, tweeted that there is indeed an Android based phone on the Shuttle as well. The make and model of that device is not currently known.
In a bit of irony, the phones on the Shuttle have more processing power than the Shuttle itself. The Shuttle program, which kicked off in 1981, is showing its age and NASA is currently working on its replacement, although it will not be available for several more years.
While the Shuttle program winds down, it is a sad day for those who grew up watching the massive bird be launched into space every few quarters. For that, we wish the Shuttle program a happy retirement, although, we will all be very sad to see it go.
Image Credit: Robert Scoble