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NTFM

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 14, 2015
14
0
I wonder if it is possible to use the apple watch in high altitude (low pressure) or space.

Watches for pilots therefore have the ability to keep their glasses fixed to the body of the watch - waterproof watches always had the risk of their glasses popping of when the outside pressure dropped. No pilot or astronaut wanted to have flying debris of a popped watch flying around in a plane or spaceship.

This is one of the reasons NASA tested the watches and went for a official watch with a plastic watch glas on the official Speedmaster Professional.

Obviously there have been other watches in space (Rolex GMT) but their watch glasses are fixed to the watchcase.

As far as I know the watchglas of the Apple watch is just pressed into the watchcase... Is it possible to use it in High Altitude /low pressure environment?

Tbh I think the apple watch could be a big contribution for space missions because a wrist worn computer seems to be useable for uncountable uses.

Of course I do know, that it should be usable inside the ISS because it is pressureized.

What do you think - will we see an apple watch on the ISS in the near future?
 

Michael CM1

macrumors 603
Feb 4, 2008
5,681
276
I would doubt it. For telling time, a standard watch works much better because they don't have to worry about charging it and all of the smart settings like raise to speak. None of it will work on a walk because of gloves, and I don't know how often astronauts use them inside the ISS.

Plus NASA is pretty proprietary. I don't think they have many mission-critical computers running Windows, Mac OS or anything similar. Their tasks are so unique that they have to make their own systems. Also the fact that you need an iPhone nearby and the ISS is a little out of AT&T's coverage zone might hinder any use.
 

Blackstick

macrumors 65816
Aug 11, 2014
1,249
6,046
OH
Think of the slow adoption rate of new technology in the most stubborn department (typically finance, accounting or legal) in the most stubborn enterprise size business. Double the pressure of that play-it-safe-and-tested thinking, and you've basically got the adoption rate of new tech for a place like NASA. Far as they're concerned, they've solved this issue and won't go looking for new solutions to conquered problems.
 

KateGladstone

macrumors member
Aug 29, 2013
84
1
Do they have WiFi in space?
Do the astronauts have iPhones? If so, how well do the iPhones' accelerometers work in free fall?


I wonder if it is possible to use the apple watch in high altitude (low pressure) or space.

Watches for pilots therefore have the ability to keep their glasses fixed to the body of the watch - waterproof watches always had the risk of their glasses popping of when the outside pressure dropped. No pilot or astronaut wanted to have flying debris of a popped watch flying around in a plane or spaceship.

This is one of the reasons NASA tested the watches and went for a official watch with a plastic watch glas on the official Speedmaster Professional.

Obviously there have been other watches in space (Rolex GMT) but their watch glasses are fixed to the watchcase.

As far as I know the watchglas of the Apple watch is just pressed into the watchcase... Is it possible to use it in High Altitude /low pressure environment?

Tbh I think the apple watch could be a big contribution for space missions because a wrist worn computer seems to be useable for uncountable uses.

Of course I do know, that it should be usable inside the ISS because it is pressureized.

What do you think - will we see an apple watch on the ISS in the near future?


----------

If the watch glass may pop off under low pressure, is the watch safe on a passenger jet? I have airplane travel coming up in early June, and may have received my watch by then.

I wonder if it is possible to use the apple watch in high altitude (low pressure) or space.

Watches for pilots therefore have the ability to keep their glasses fixed to the body of the watch - waterproof watches always had the risk of their glasses popping of when the outside pressure dropped. No pilot or astronaut wanted to have flying debris of a popped watch flying around in a plane or spaceship.

This is one of the reasons NASA tested the watches and went for a official watch with a plastic watch glas on the official Speedmaster Professional.

Obviously there have been other watches in space (Rolex GMT) but their watch glasses are fixed to the watchcase.

As far as I know the watchglas of the Apple watch is just pressed into the watchcase... Is it possible to use it in High Altitude /low pressure environment?

Tbh I think the apple watch could be a big contribution for space missions because a wrist worn computer seems to be useable for uncountable uses.

Of course I do know, that it should be usable inside the ISS because it is pressureized.

What do you think - will we see an apple watch on the ISS in the near future?
 

mav

macrumors newbie
Jun 27, 2007
17
2
Los Angeles, CA
I think the glass will stay on inside the pressurized cabin although the accelerometer wouldn't work correctly.

Outside the ship, in actual space, the Omega Speedmaster remains the only watch certified for EVA use. Back in the 1960's, the NASA conducted a series of tests against several watches for use in space. Only the Speedmaster survived. More can be read here, if interested: http://monochrome-watches.com/omega-speedmaster-history-part-1-early-pre-moons/
 

ManicMarc

macrumors 6502
Jul 1, 2012
487
149
Apparently it is so:
iss064e029079.jpg
 

BugeyeSTI

macrumors 604
Aug 19, 2017
6,879
8,741
Arizona/Illinois
You will never see an Apple watch on an EVA as the only watch qualified by NASA/ESA for EVA is the Omega Speedmaster Professional. You can wear any watch you want inside but when you leave the airlock, a Speedmaster is on your wrist..
 
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jzuena

macrumors 65816
Feb 21, 2007
1,125
149
Why would you need a watch at all during EVA. You have the entire ground crew at your disposal. ”Hey Siri, what time is it... I’m talking to you, Houston.”
 

BugeyeSTI

macrumors 604
Aug 19, 2017
6,879
8,741
Arizona/Illinois
Why would you need a watch at all during EVA. You have the entire ground crew at your disposal. ”Hey Siri, what time is it... I’m talking to you, Houston.”
It’s for redundancy... There are countless reasons why you may need to time something precisely, (the engine burn on Apollo 13 was done using a SpeedMaster when the computer had to be shut down) or keep track of how long you’ve been outside the ship, etc... A mechanical watch is much less likely to fail and is very reliable.. This is the list of requirements the SpeedMaster had to pass to qualify for EVA:


To be “flight-qualified by NASA for all manned space missions”, a wrist chronograph must pass all of the following tests numerous times without failure of any kind:

  1. High Temperature – 48 hours at a temperature of 160°F (71°C) followed by 30 minutes at 200°F (93°C). For the high temperature tests, atmospheric pressure shall be 5.5 psi (0.35 atm) and the relative humidity shall not exceed 15%.
  2. Low Temperature – Four hours at a temperature of 0°F (-18° C)
  3. Temperature Pressure Chamber –pressure maximum of 1.47 x 10exp-5 psi (10exp-6 atm) with temperature raised to 160°F (71°C). The temperature shall then be lowered to 0°F (-18°C) in 45 minutes and raised again to 160°F in 45 minutes. Fifteen more such cycles shall be completed.
  4. Relative Humidity – A total time of 240 hours at temperatures varying between 68°F and 160°F (20°C and 71°C, respectively) in a relative humidity of at least 95%. The steam used shall have a pH value between 6.5 and 7.5.
  5. Pure Oxygen Atmosphere – The test item shall be placed in an atmosphere of 100% oxygen at a pressure of 5.5 psi (0.35 atm) for 48 hours. Performance outside of specification tolerance, visible burning, creation of toxic gases, obnoxious odors, or deterioration of seals or lubricants shall constitute a failure. The ambient temperature shall be maintained at 160°F (71°C).
  6. Shock – Six shocks of 40g each, in six different directions, with each shock lasting 11 milliseconds.
  7. Acceleration – The test item shall be accelerated linearly from 1g to 7.25g within 333 seconds, along an axis parallel to the longitudinal spacecraft axis.
  8. Decompression – 90 minutes in a vacuum of 1.47 x 10E-5 psi (10 E-6 atm) at a temperature of 160° F (71° C), and 30 minutes at a 200° F (93°C).
  9. High Pressure – The test item shall be subjected to a pressure of 23.5 psi (1.6 atm) for a minimum period of one hour.
  10. Vibration – Three cycles of 30 minutes (lateral, horizontal, vertical, the frequency varying from 5 to 2000 cps and back to 5 cps in 15 minutes. Average acceleration per impulse must be at least 8.8g.
  11. Acoustic Noise – 130dB over a frequency range from 40 to 10,000 HZ, for a duration of 30 minutes.
 
Last edited:

ZeChild

macrumors 6502
May 14, 2012
384
318
Glasgow, UK
On the ISS sure it'll work relatively well aside from the accelerometer that might think your covering thousands of steps down per day, effectively the ISS doesn't have true zero G it's always falling into the gravity well of earth simulating zero G, strap it to your wrist on an EVA though and the face gasket will probably rupture not too much of an issue no moisture!, but when it comes to the extremes of hot and cold it'd totally break down given the tolerances Apple state (ever seen an iPhone out in the sun too long refusing to work x that by 100), don't think radiation would have an effect at least at the level of the ISS which is still within the earth's magnetic field.

TLDR: No!
 

BSG75

macrumors 6502
Jul 21, 2015
351
235
Tennessee
Not surprising that Apple Watches are used on the ISS. But, as others have said, the Omega Speedmaster Professional is the watch used for EVAs since it‘s only watch qualified by NASA to do so. It makes sense to use a mechanical watch as a backup just in case the computers go down. Also, the Speedmaster used in space has a Hesalite (aka plastic) crystal. That’s because you don‘t want sharp shards of sapphire floating around in zero G if you break the crystal.
 
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BugeyeSTI

macrumors 604
Aug 19, 2017
6,879
8,741
Arizona/Illinois
How cool would it be for Apple to create a space-ready smartwatch?
What for? You can already wear any watch you want when inside the capsule/space station... The only place you can't is on EVA and it's pretty obvious why after reading the requirements for certification. The Apple Watch could never be made to pass those tests and why would they, the SpeedMaster doesn't rely on battery power or complicated electronics to operate... Too many failure points for an Apple Watch to overcome..
 

utzelu

macrumors member
Sep 10, 2020
71
70
What for? You can already wear any watch you want when inside the capsule/space station... The only place you can't is on EVA and it's pretty obvious why after reading the requirements for certification. The Apple Watch could never be made to pass those tests and why would they, the SpeedMaster doesn't rely on battery power or complicated electronics to operate... Too many failure points for an Apple Watch to overcome..

For the fun of it and prestige. Coming from the traditional watch world, I know that a good story sells the product. Right now Apple is creating the health and fitness story.
 
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