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May 21, 2014

Samsung planning Android mobile apps for astronauts and space tourists

Boeing and Samsung collaborate on mobile technology for space station ferry.

By Ben Sullivan

Samsung is collaborating with aerospace firm Boeing to incorporate mobile apps into the CST-100 spaceship.

The spacecraft is being developed by Boeing as part of NASA’s commercial crew program with an aim to use it as a transport for astronauts heading to the International Space Station.

Boeing said that it wants to employ mobile technology to aid astronauts to share their experiences and Boeing researchers have already chosen six apps that could be used during space flight, as reported by Space.com.

The app software, some of which already employed on the space station, could potentially be used on the Android operating system.

An app called World Map is already used to let astronauts know when the spce station flies over a particular part of the world.

Former astronaut Chris Ferguson, director of crew and mission operations for the Boeing Commercial Crew Program, said: "Those geopolitical lines aren’t necessarily carved on the Earth."

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Speaking at the 2014 National Space Symposium, Ferguson said: "You have to rely sometimes on a tool to tell you where you are, and there’s a great application on the space station called World Map that we would like to bring over to an Android platform. That’s an example of how a NASA astronaut would use it."

The app research also holds future uses for space tourism, such as photography apps and a Wi-Fi tool that can send photos back to Earth.

Boeing is going head to head with competing spaceflight firms such as SpaceX and Sierra Nevada Corp to win a contract to ferry astronauts to the International Space Station. NASA hopes to have transport operating by 2017, following the ending of the space shuttle program in 2011.

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