Google Nexus S still works after trip to space

The Google Android robot takes to the skies
The Google Android robot takes to the skies

Google decided to test the limits of its Nexus S phones and their sensors by sending the devices into orbit - complete with little Android astronauts.

The project saw seven phones sent up into space to check the power of the GPS, gyroscope, accelerometer and magnetometer - using custom-made applications as well as Google Maps (using the offline caching function from version 5.0) and Google Sky Map to see if the stars could be discerned when much closer.

The Nexus S managed to stay operational at temperatures reaching minus 50 degrees Celsius, and the GPS chip tracked the location of the phone all the way up to 60,000 feet - and regained function on the way down. We didn't test these limits in our Google Nexus S review - sorry.

Noooooo - the Android robot!

The Google team's blog confirmed managed to recover all the balloons when they landed, which is pretty impressive, and video and digital cameras snapped and shot the flight as it happened.

The balloons reached heights of over 100,000ft and travelled at up to 139mph at the top of their flight - the helium-filled balloons popped as they expanded at massive heights and you can see the heart-wrenching video of the moment the Android robot manning the flight was lost forever.

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.