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JPL Mobile Apps: Taking IT to New Heights!
By Sandy Gutheinz, Anil Natha, and Whitney Haggins, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology

The JPL Mobile App team in the Office of the CIO has partnered with JPL missions and programs since 2010 to launch internal, iTunes, Android Market, and Windows Azure DataMarket mobile apps that have revolutionized the way we share data and learn on a global scale. JPL developed mobile apps are used by thousands of students, educators, scientists, and astronomy and space enthusiasts worldwide, and represent a new chapter in telling the JPL and NASA story. The data gathered from these programs has provided insights to our own lives and changed the way we view our world.

From the time an app is written, it takes up to one month to publish. During that time, the team works with the missions/programs to ensure data accuracy, and prospective apps must undergo extensive reviews and obtain key approvals before being submitted to the mobile marketplace.

For the eight JPL-developed mobile apps already in the marketplace, the public response has been overwhelmingly positive. The JPL team is thrilled that their efforts have increased interest in space and our home planet, and enjoy reading about the many ways their apps are being implemented in schools and daily life.

The Earth-Now app, developed by the Earth Science Communications, Visualization Technology Applications and Development Teams at JPL, with support from NASA Headquarters, and published by JPL OCIO, was included in the iTunes Feature section and was downloaded 100,000 times in just one week. The Space Images app, designed and developed through JPL’s Office of Communications and Education, was featured as an iTunes Staff Pick and was recently named as the top Astronomy iPhone app by PC Advisor. With over 780,000 downloads so far, the Space Images app continues to grow strong on the iPhone, iPad and Android platforms

To learn more about JPL mobile apps, visit iTunes or the JPL Mobile App website: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/apps