Apple's iconic phone iPhone 4 will be on board NASA's final space shuttle mission, finally reaching a territory where there are no more Androids to challenge its hegemony.
Odyssey Space Research announced that it will ship two iPhone 4s to the U.S. National Laboratory on the International Space Station (ISS). The research group has planted a custom-made iOS app called, SpaceLab for iOS, on the iPhones to conduct four experiments. The iPhones will be transported by the orbiter Atlantis for the final mission of the Space Shuttle program, STS-135.
The four experiments which will be conducted using the app are Limb Tracker, Sensor Cal, State Acq and LFI.
Limb Tracker, is a navigation experiment which will involve taking photographs of the Earth and matching an arc to the horizon through manipulation of an overlay. The experiment will result in 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.
Sensor Calibration experiment entails iPhone's sensors the gyroscope and accelerometer to further refine the accuracy of these sensors.
Another experiment which involves the gyroscope and accelerometer is called the State Acquisition. The experiment involves using the picture of the earth as a reference image which will be calibrated with information pooled from the three-axis gyro and accelerometer to gauge the latitude and longitude of the spacecraft.
Also in the fray is an experiment to test the effect of radiation on the iPhone.
Odyssey Space Research's app, SpaceLab for iOS, is also available for download on App Store for $0.99. The app replicates the experience and tasks affected by the crew members on the app.
The iPhones will probably make their journey home on a Russian Soyuz vehicle in the fall of 2011.
Apple is rumored to release its next rendition of iPhone, the iPhone 5, in September at the customary iPod refresh event. Since the outcome of the experiment will arrive in fall, it is not likely that the results will be incorporated in the upcoming iPhone 5.
Apple has recently released its updated OS for iPhone, iPad and iPod, the iOS 5 along with its cloud locker facility iCloud and Mac OS X Lion.