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If you’ve ever been interested in space exploration, the science that gets us out there, and what awaits us when we do slip the grip of Earth, you’ll do well to check out the NASA App HD for the iPad. It’s a beautiful, useful and informative package that pulls together encyclopedia-style entries, videos, NASA web sites, social media, and streaming broadcasts from NASA TV.

The app starts on the view of the solar system pictured above, and you can click any of the objects shown to get a nice in-depth description. When you need to know the names of Jupiter’s 50 moons (and designations of its 12 provisional ones), they’re right at your fingertips. As are pictures from NASA’s past and stunning images of celestial phenomena. Videos cover mission descriptions, lectures, and previous NASA TV highlights.

If you want to see what’s going on with NASA’s numerous official Twitter accounts, there’s a section of the app that aggregates them and makes retweeting, or sending to Facebook or email, easy.

One nice feature that encourages users to actually get out under the night sky is a section that tracks the various objects NASA has responsibility over, from weather tracking satellites to the International Space Station. Want to know how near to your location the next ISS pass will be? This is the place to find out.

For me, the best part of the app is the streaming from NASA TV. When a space launch or landing is going on, this is where it will be shown. Ever hear that the shuttle is “about to land”, wanted to watch, but didn’t know where? With this app, you can watch live as humans go into space and return again. And with streams from the ISS, you can get a sense of their daily activities on a mission, as well.

NASA App HD is free at the iTunes Store, and well worth a download if you have any interest in the US space program. You just might find yourself learning more than you ever intended.

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About The Author

Avatar of Dave Peterson
Editor in Chief
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Dave lives near Seattle, Washington, surrounded by evergreen trees and flat panel displays. His special gadget interest is eReaders and the pursuit of the perfect digital reading experience. He is the Editor-in-Chief of GeekBeat.TV.

4 Responses

  1. Bruce R. (BPR639Geek)

    Cool. I was at NASA as a a shore excursion on a Norwegian Cruse a few years ago. We saw the visitor’s center where we were treated to a VERY realistic simulated Sat-5 launch, the old LP-2 site & the VAB which IS truly one of the biggest buildings in the world. Were you ever there Dave? “B”

  2. Bruce R. (BPR639Geek)

    Some would say I’m already a resident of the endless voids of outer space. Ignoring that I say, a cooler method of exploring the heavens there will never be. I’m not yet an iPad owner, but this new hands-on application brings me one step closer to that eventual and ‘inevitable’ purchasing decision. I’v always been a great fan of the space program, all its’ marvelous facets, the worlds beyond our own, and the ultimate question: “what is out there”? This iPad app will be of the first I will download next to the Cali App. Thanks for the terrific article Dave… “B”

    • Avatar of Dave Peterson
      Dave Peterson

      It’s really an impressive app, Bruce, including a bunch of stuff I didn’t get to mention like maps showing locations of NASA facilities and a calendar of upcoming launches. One of those apps you can just spend a lot of time exploring.