Don't you hate it when you're hurtling along at 17,000 miles per hour on the International Space Station and the Grand Canyon whizzes by so quickly below that you don't have time to snap a picture?
It never has to happen again. Now there's an app that alerts you ten minutes before you arrive at any chosen view point up there at 250 miles high.
The "T-10" app, pronounced "T minus 10" (oh yes, talk Houston to me baby) will even let you know if it's worth walking to the window because it will tell you things like the clouds are in the way or the gods have otherwise rained on your parade. So, if climatic conditions sour, you can leave the Nikon in the bag and carry on examining the effects of microgravity on cell tissues, playing floating baseball, sleeping, or doing whatever it was that brought you onboard in the first place.
And speaking of weather reports, another app, called Sol, will tell you whether you'll need an umbrella on Jupiter today or whatever planet you're going to. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration described Sol as "the world's first interplanetary weather application," and noted that "users can select a planet and view the weather there, as they might view the weather on earth by typing a postal code."
T-10 and Sol are both among the five winners of the International Space Apps Challenge chosen by NASA and the European Space Agency. T-10 comes from developers in London, and Sol hails from a Kansas City team.
Adds a layer of meaning to cyberspace, doesn't it? But you don't have to orbit the planet to use these. Normal earthlings can fire them up too.
For example, T-10ers anywhere on the globe can program it so that their phone pings them when the ISS is flying visibly above.
There are just two catches: Users will need the "gravity resistant" version (that's what the video says) on their Android or Apple device. And if you're going to use it, you'll be expected to politely wave at the astronauts as they fly by, because they'll be waving at you in pre-arranged salutations.
It's good to know that social decorum still survives in the digital age.
Here's a video of how T-10 might help you go about your space station business:
Video is from the T-10 group via NASA and Vimeo. Photo is a screen grab from the video.
This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com