National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Available for the iphone and ipad. Free.
WHEN YOU CONSIDER that NASA is responsible for operating dozens of spacecraft in Earth orbit, solar orbit, and other parts of the solar system, as well as building new manned and unmanned spacecraft, I think the agency has done an absolutely fantastic job of keeping the public informed through their websites and social media. It is no surprise, then, that they would also try public outreach through an app, one that features missions, images, videos, tweets, TV and radio broadcasts, news, and their various centers. Basically, the NASA App includes everything the agency publicizes through all the media outlets. And that may be the problem.
While everything seems to be included, most of the information is presented with little context and little or no reference material. For example, when you go to the images section, you see a list of interesting pictures that are completely unrelated to one another. Press the play button, and the captions go away so you no longer know what you’re looking at. The other sections are equally unframed. A true space fan will enjoy all the information, but for actual substance, you will need to go to the NASA website.
BOB CRADDOCK IS A GEOLOGIST AT THE
NATIONAL AIR AND SPACE MUSEUM’S CENTER
FOR EARTH AND PLANETARY STUDIES.