iPhone Could Be First Smartphone in Space

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If astronaut Leroy Chiao has anything to say about it, Apple’s iPhone may be the first smartphone in space.

The former NASA astronaut, who has four missions in space under his belt, including a six and a half month stint on the international space station, has been a Mac nut since 1985. Today he is the Executive Vice President of Excalibur Almaz, a commercial venture that hopes to be putting space tourists into true space journeys by sometime in the next few years.

Chiao was disappointed to have to abandon his preference for Macs during his time as a NASA employee (because NASA was a PC-only shop) but says his first purchase after leaving the US government space program was a new Mac.

He’s an iPhone user, too — although he relies mostly on his 3 year-old twins for app selection so far — but he’s confident Mac and iPhone both have roles in his company’s plans — as long as they “play well with the systems on board.”