Five applications for the iPhone that will take you on an educational journey through our galaxy.
Buzz Aldrin Portal to Science and Space Exploration
The Buzz Aldrin Portal to Science and Space Exploration app was put together by space pioneer Buzz Aldrin, himself, and takes consumers on an educational tour of space travel. The comprehensive guide gives users access to up to date news, information and ‘space buzz' aggregated from top science and space travel journals; hundreds of videos and photos; full coverage of the Apollo Program; in depth information about hundreds of other space missions and programs; and access to Aldrin's personal blogs and twitter feeds.
Pocket Universe: Virtual Sky Astronomy
Pocket Universe: Virtual Sky Astronomy is a location-aware app that lets you explore the night sky in 3D. The app automatically creates a virtual star map that is relative to the time and your position in the world. You can use the touchscreen to travel through the universe, learning the names of constellations and stars on the way. Using augmented reality, the app overlays education information about the stars on top of what you really see through your iPhone's camera.
The official app from NASA will take you on a spectacular visual journey through space. The app is divided up into four categories: Missions, images, videos and updates. The Missions segment provides information about current space programs. In this section you can also find details about NASA's launch schedule and sighting opportunities as well as finding out about what's happening on the International Space Station. Thousands of beautiful space images are available in the images section, while NASA videos can be streamed live in the video section of the app.
As the name would suggest, the Space Images app is all about looking at amazing images of our solar system. Viewers are treated to a visual feast of stars, planets and the cosmos. Users can rate the images, email them to their friends or save them to their device to use as a background image. There is also a search feature in which you can search for images by name or browse by image category. The images come with a brief description and, as one iTunes reviewer remarks are, "like holding space in [your] hand".
F-SIM Space Shuttle
For those of you who would rather see yourself piloting a Space Shuttle than gazing up at the stars there is the F-SIM Space Shuttle flight simulator. Consumers put themselves behind the controls of a Space Shuttle, bringing the craft down to safely land at the John F. Kennedy Space Center or at the Edwards Air Force Base. Players descend the Orbiter from 50,000 ft (15 240 m) above ground level using the realistic guidance, navigation and control systems and three-dimensional head-up display.