AirDrop Proved Handy on NASA’s Demo-2 Mission

Originally published at: AirDrop Proved Handy on NASA’s Demo-2 Mission - TidBITS

The successful completion of the NASA Demo-2 mission recently made headlines, but it turns out there was an Apple-related twist during the mission.

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iPads and other tablets have been in use on ISS for many years but I don’t think they have been used for critical functions like this incident.
I wonder if NASA has been monitoring the reliability of these devices in the harsh conditions of space? I hate to think how bulky and expensive a “space hardened” device would be…

The ISS is in low Earth orbit, so I doubt the risk is that much more than the risk in a typical airliner flying across an ocean or a continent. The ISS doesn’t have the protection of Earth’s atmosphere, but It’s still well within the Earth’s magnetic field. Once you leave the protection of Earth’s magnetosphere, then you do have to worry. Manned Mars missions are going to have to deal with radiation risk.


From what I’ve read, they seem to be doing well. iPads are used not just for flight management, but to monitor astronaut health:

There’s an app the astronauts use to test fine motor skills:

And a Food Intake Tracker:

NASA even deploys iPads in the deepest depths of the sea floor to train and monitor motor astronaut’s skills and cognition:

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