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Even if stay-at-home orders are slowly lifting all around the globe, we're mostly supposed to stay inside to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. But that shouldn't stop us from exploring things we'd normally see in museums or shops thanks to 3D models available in Google Search on Android and iOS. We've already covered which animals and pets you can lure into your home, but if you and your kids get tired of acting as an amateur zoologist, there is a whole world to explore, starting with planets and space crafts courtesy of NASA over anatomy all the way to shopping for shoes.
Google's AR Stickers might have fictional spacecraft from Star Wars, but the more dedicated space enthusiasts will probably prefer the NASA-developed Spacecraft AR. As you might be able to deduce from the name, this app brings spacecraft to you via artificial reality, and it's actually pretty good at it.
Yesterday, NASA announced that it (along with international partners) had discovered seven Earth-size planets orbiting a single star. Even more importantly, three of them are located in the star's habitable zone, the range around a star where liquid water is possible. The solar system (named TRAPPIST-1) is unfortunately located 40 light-years away from Earth, so sending a probe or a person there isn't really possible for now.
Still, it's a very important discovery, and Google is commemorating the event with a Google Doodle.
I imagine for the folks at NASA, the Moon has become kind of boring. The organization has been launching stuff at that floating rock since the 60s. It has sent rockets, people, and unmanned probes. And that doesn't even count the work others around the world have contributed to our understanding on the satellite. People have been staring up at that thing for as long as we've been a species.
Needless to say, quite a bit of information about the Moon has surfaced in that time. We've named craters, measured slopes, mapped minerals, and otherwise produced enough data to leave a person feeling lost.
So we all know that Project Tango is cool – programing a mobile device to be aware of its own surroundings just as people are can be potentially beneficial in many ways. NASA has clearly seen something in the in Tango as well, as the company has been working with Google since last year to utilize the project with its own robotic platform called SPHERES. In a nutshell, it wants to incorporate Tango into autonomous, space-aware robots that will take some of the load off of astronauts on the International Space Station by doing some of the work for them.
NASA is kind of awesome. In case you live under some red rocks, the organization sent this crazy robot to Mars that sends us back high-resolution photos. The future is amazing. Of course, there's nothing the space administration loves more than curiosity (which is why they named the Mars rover after it), and it's aiming to fuel yours with this 3D model explorer.
In a somewhat odd move, instead of simply providing the 3D models themselves, the app requires you to print out some markers. Then, as you've seen in other AR apps, you point your camera at the page and the model appears.
After the successful landing of NASA's Curiosity rover on Mars this month, space exploration is once again at the forefront of everyone's minds. While the rover goes about its mission on the red planet, there are plenty of other exciting projects happening closer to home.
One of those projects is the CubeSat Launch initiative (CSLI), in which nanosatellites built by teams across the United States are hitching a ride into orbit on rockets planned for upcoming launches. The satellites are around 4 inches long, have a volume of one quart and weigh in the region of 3 pounds.
In order for a project to be eligible to participate in the CSLI, it must address aspects of science, exploration, technology development, education or operations.
Ever since a hardware manufacturer went to a music festival to announce a video game about birds flying into space, the internet has been waiting for Angry Birds Space to launch. Well, the countdown is finally over, and Angry Birds Space is now stationed at Amazon's Appstore.
As per usual, the game is free if you like ads, or $0.99 on the Appstore for an ad-free experience. Amazon also has an HD version of the ad-free game for the Kindle Fire available on the Appstore.
Space. The final frontier. If you're reading this, there's a good chance you're a nerd of some kind. I know for a fact that there are a lot of nerds that love space, and NASA has decided to indulge us with an app that brings all the information we'd want to know to one place.
NASA's app has a remarkably simple function: give you access to a ton of media that the organization has to offer. Through its menus you'll find links to Twitter feeds, photographs of the day, articles describing space missions, and even live video feeds. The videos deserve special mention, as they give you a full TV schedule of when things are set to air, and give you two different feeds to watch them from on your phone.