Search engine giant Google sent seven payloads carrying its Google Nexus S smartphone to near space in order to put the capabilities of the newest Google phone to test.
In a blog post, the company explained that with the help of UCSC student Greg Klein, Google engineers prepared the payloads, made out of foam coolers, to send them to near space.
Google engineers created special apps for the smartphones they sent in space in order to monitor the GPS, gyroscope, accelerometer, and magnetometer sensors in the Nexus S.
Some of the payloads also carried cameras and video recorders to capture images and videos of the flight and descent of the payload. The pictures taken by the payloads can be checked out here.
The Google team found that GPS sensor in the Nexus S was able to work perfectly till the height of 60,000 feet, more than twice the height of mount Everest, and started working again during the descent. Google also found that the smartphone could work in extreme temperatures of minus 50 Celsius.
“In the end, the team recovered all of the payloads sent up, we even recovered the payload we sent as a test a week prior to the actual launch. We had a blast taking Android all the way up to near space,” the company said.