One may think that participation with the International Space Station would be restricted to an exclusive club of high ranking officials and agencies. In actuality, students, teachers and commercial companies have also been taking advantage of the station's unique environment for years. One of those commercial companies, Houston-based Odyssey Space Research, plans to bring the experience to the rest of us via our mobile devices!
International Space Station National Laboratory partner NanoRacks LLC has a collaboration with Odyssey and Apple. This relationship enabled Odyssey to send two iPhone 4's to the space station as part of the STS-135 mission on July 8, 2011. These phones are just like the ones you can find at the store, but with certain alterations to meet NASA flight certification standards. It took less than a year to make the necessary changes and launch the devices to the station.
The iPhone 4 was selected for its mix of features, according to Odyssey CEO Brian Rishikof. "It had a three-axis gyro, and accelerometer, a high resolution camera and screen, and the means to manipulate the image. We had done some projects in the past that used all those features, but of course it was big, dedicated equipment and suddenly here it is in this small little package," said Rishikof.