5 great space apps you should grab right now

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One of my favourite early Android experiences was using Google Sky Map for the first time, being a revelation for stargazers.

Since those heady days, we’ve seen a variety of space-based apps being released on mobile devices. So we picked a few worth downloading.

Google Sky Map (free – Android)

Let’s start with the original augmented reality app in many ways, Google Sky Map overlays a map of celestial objects on your phone.

The app also relies on your phone’s gyroscope and other sensors, so it’ll accurately show you stars, planets and other objects, depending on where you’re pointing your phone camera.

Sky Map has since gone open-source, being available for free on the Play Store. There are several alternatives on iOS though, such as Pocket Universe and Star Chart.

Space Launch Now (free – Android)

One of my favourite space-related apps, Space Launch Now simply notifies users to upcoming rocket launches around the world.

The app can alert users to rocket launches at the 24 hour and one hour mark, so those wanting to check out the latest SpaceX or Soyuz launch can indeed do so.

Space Launch Now also links to live webcasts of said launches, while delivering mission information in the app as well. A must-download if you enjoy watching rocket launches.

NASA (free – Android, iOS)

Grabbing the NASA app is a no-brainer really, owing to the wealth of content in it. From live NASA streams to thousands of images and general news updates, the app has you covered.

Other neat features include the ability to download images to use as wallpapers, access to on-demand videos and live-streams from the actual ISS itself.

ISS Detector Satellite Tracker (free – Android, iOS)

Spotting the International Space Station in the night sky can be a really fun endeavour, as it streaks across the sky like a tiny meteor. And there’s an app for this too.

ISS Detector, as the name suggests, shows you when/where the space station will cross your section of sky.

Space Agency (Android, iOS)

Looking for Kerbal Space Program on mobile devices? Unfortunately, it’s not available, but Space Agency is one of the next best things.

Much like Kerbal Space Program, you’ll be crafting all manner of weird and whacky rocket designs and attempting to launch them. From here, you can try to get into orbit, create a space station or even explore the solar system.

SimpleRockets is another great game in this vein, offering the same rocket building antics, as well as the ability to build rovers, orbit distant planets and undertake specific challenges.



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