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>> News > Science and Technology
New NASA iPhone App lets you drive the Rovers on Mars - November 10th 2009

In an effort to appeal to the younger generation NASA has taken the step of releasing a fully functional iPhone app with the expressed intention of wowing the tech savvy culture. Whilst to previous generations rocket ships and moon landings inspired awe, these accomplishments fall short of the current expectations of today's youth.

"You see, whereas we saw the moonlandings as a step to achieving the wonders shown on Star Trek," NASA spokesperson Chuck Hankman explained, "kids today compare their Smartphones to Captain Kirk's communicator and think 'that's retro.'

"Add on top of that all the videogames where landing on another world is as straight forwards as pressing A A B B Y and suddenly our 2 years of planning, calculating and recalculating seems convoluted and somewhat primative."

The decision to release an iPhone App became the obvious solution; having established itself as the leader in the field - cleverly leading the way with such technology such as Video Recording, MMS and Cut-Copy-Paste, the iPhone was clearly the forwards looking phone. Immediately NASA set about creating an app to reach out to the people.

"After a few weeks of playing with the technology we suddenly realised the potential" Hankman continued, "There we were with our quantum computers and flux capacitors thinking that we were on the cutting edge of science. Jeez, we weren't even close! Have you played with one of these iPhones? When you tilt it on the side the keyboard automatically turns to stay at the bottom!"

Quickly realising the lack of limitations, NASA set about creating a host of new features they never expected to be possible: from shake-to-shuffle the orbital path of the Hubble Space Telescope to a live video feed of the shower on the International Space Station the most anticipated is the ability to remotely control the Mars Rovers.

"You see, up until now it has only been our research team controlling where the rovers go," Hankman informed us, And if there is one scientific fact it is that nerds suck at radio control cars.

"Up until now it has taken them two weeks just to move a few hundred metres. Now the cool kids can have a go, expect that to change. I let my thirteen year old son have a go last night and he used a fallen meteor as a ramp to jump over a crater before powersliding it sideways over a sand dune. It was awesome; he could even upload the video of it up to YouTube, take that Web 2.0!"

Unfortunately, despite Chuck Hankman's enthusiasm the app has drawn criticism from the fanbase he was hoping to appeal to the most; Keith Wilson, deputy editor of strokemyshinyphonescreen.com was quick to slate the app claiming that its failure to integrate with Facebook and Twitter was an oversight and that if it didn't throw a sheep or play Mafia Wars then it would never be able to interest him.

Written on an iPhone

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