Odyssey Space Research has announced they will be sending two iPhone 4s into space aboard the orbiter Atlantis on the final Space Shuttle mission, STS-135.
The Houston, Tx-based company’s vision is self-described as “to profoundly influence the technical direction and quality of NASA’s and the world’s space programs.” To that end, Odyssey has developed an app called SpaceLab for iOS that is designed to perform experiments aboard the U.S. National Laboratory on the International Space Station (ISS).
The app is designed to be used by two “space certified” iPhone 4s to conduct four planned experiments.
The first, Limb Tracker, will involve taking photographs of the Earth from space and will equate to a manual horizon sensor; it will yield estimated altitude and “off axis” angle (the angle of an image in respect to the Earth’s center). Sensor Cal and State Acq will use the iPhone’s camera, gyro and accelerometer measurements to calibrate the gyros and accelerometers and estimate the position of the spacecraft, respectively. LFI (Lifecycle Flight Instrumentation) will measure effects of radiation on the device.
The app is available for 99 cents on Apple’s App Store for curious terrestrial users, and simulates some features to account for the presence of gravity. Odyssey says the iPhones in question will remain on the ISS for several months while the experiments are conducted.
Once collected and analyzed, data from the experiments is expected to be made public through the app on the App Store.
Space Shuttle Atlantis is currently scheduled to launch July 8, 2011.
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