iPhone + NASA = Fabtastic Space Geek App

Geek Culture

Image via NASA (public domain)Image via NASA (public domain)

Image via NASA (public domain)


  • 2 cups of a top selling phone/gadget
  • 1 cup of a great UI platform
  • 1 cup of the best space images on the planet
  • 1/2 cup of rockin space videos
  • a heap of Twitter updates

Stir well until the design represents the consistency of a smooth batter. Let rise and then wrap in cellophane. Add a price tag of FREE.

Yup. That about sums up the new NASA iPhone application. Released on Friday, October 23, the app (NASA’s first official one on the platform) was developed by the New Media Team based at the Ames Research Center in California.

From the outset, the app is easy to use and intuitive. My kids did not have a problem finding what they were looking for. After wresting control back from them, I spent a good 30 minutes exploring the vast amount of images and video available for myself.

My favorite parts of the app were the countdown / countup clocks on each mission page and the search page (you can search for images, videos, missions, or tweets).

My one suggestion to the team is to move the Schedule “mission” into it’s own main category and change this part of the app to a calendar. Other than that, as a free app, I’m going to recommend a download to all of my non-space-geek friends. Maybe, just maybe, they’ll show it to their kids and my secret plan to recruit the next generation of space scientists will be that much closer to completion.


Other government agencies need take note. Here are some iPhone apps I’d like to see in the next year:

CIA app: real-time feeds of spy satellite lookdowns, with zoom capability

FBI app: most wanted lists, cool agent theme music

Treasury app: deficit clock, live camera feed of Fort Knox gold reserves

Capitol app: “what’s up for vote?” page, secret unlockable page to view contents of SBB13

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