Last time a Google Nexus S smartphone and a Panasonic 3D video camera were sent up to the ISS along with the Atlantis' final journey, but this time, two iPads and a red Angry Birds plush toy are making the journey into outer space. Why?
What kind of experiments will the iPads and Angry Birds plush toy be used for in space? Just entertainment.
Yep, no scientific tests will be performed. According to collectSpace, the Angry Birds plush toy will "help by signaling to the launching cosmonauts and NASA astronaut that they have made it to space when it starts to float." The Russians have had a tradition of using a toy as a zero-g indicator. Russian cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov who will be flying on the rocket said he let his five-year-old daughter pick the indicator.
Any excuse to get the boys and girls up in the ISS playing Rovio's bird smashing pigs game is OK in our book.
On a more serious note, the two tablets will be the first tablets used in space, which is a big deal. The ISS currently has a collection of iPods, iPhones, laptops and other instruments, but tablets could really change things up, considering how they've changed so many industries since Apple launched the first iPad in 2010.