The Androids were strapped to seven payloads to test the outer limits of Nexus S were carried into the Earth's outer atmosphere using weather balloons. Zi Wang of Google Android said that the plan was to collect some data about the sensors in Nexus S such as GPS, gyroscope, accelerometer, and magnetometer. The phones were running a variety of applications such as Google maps for Mobile 5.0, which allowed the team to check what was directly below the balloon and Google sky map to identify the stars and report their location.
Google found that the Nexus S could withstand temperatures as low as minus 50 degrees celsius, while the GPS kept track of the phone up to 60,000 ft and started working again on the balloon's descent, Google said. The balloons reached 100,000 feet and travelled at up to a speed of 139 mph during the test. All seven high-altitude balloons were launched November 13. The average flight lasted two hours and 40 minutes with the descent taking around 34 minutes, said the report. (Francis Gary Powers would have loved it. sub.ed.)