The Truth Behind Google's Army of Space Androids

Ryan Whitwam

Leave it to the uber-nerds at Google to get their science on with the new Nexus S. With the clever cover of " testing the Nexus S sensors ", Googlers recently had the opportunity to send seven Nexus S phones up on weather balloons to the very edge of space. The phones were running GPS apps like Google Maps, and Google Sky Map. The verdict is that the sensors worked well, and space looks really cool.

The phones were kept safe in Styrofoam coolers attached to the balloon with nylon rope. A parachute was added to the rig to guide the phones gently back to Earth. When they landed, engineers used Google Latitude to find their brave space faring phones. The data collected from the phones' sensors was also of interest.

According to Google's data. The GPS chip works up to altitudes of 60,000 feet. The phone itself withstood low temperatures of -50 degrees C. The payloads reached an altitude of 107,375 ft (over 20 miles) before the balloons popped. Check the video below for the full rundown.

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