Nexus S First Android Phone in Space on Final Space Shuttle Mission

Google promoted one Android “reference device” (phone) in 2010 and 2011. The 2011 reference device was the Nexus S made by Samsung. It was the first Android phone to feature NFC (Near Field Communications), a front-facing camera and run Android OS 2.3 (Gingerbread). This past July, it also added the distinction of being the first and last Android phone to go into space on the final space shuttle mission.

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The Nexus S played a unique role by providing sensors and computing resources for NASA’s SPHERES (Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites), originally developed by MIT. SPHERES itself was inspired by the floating droid remotes that Luke Skywalker sparred with in the first Stars Wars movie. SPHERES was designed to record sensor data and capture video footage while floating in the space shuttle. NAsA noted that Nexus S is the first commercial smartphone certified by NASA to fly on the space shuttle and to be cleared for use on the space station.

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Video courtesy of Google Nexus