Google sent seven of the new Nexus S phones into "near space" via weather balloon to do some exploring. The phones were equipped with Google Maps for Mobile, Google Sky Map, Google Latitude, etc.
Does Google have too much time and money on its hands? Perhaps. A publicity stunt for these products? Maybe. It's pretty interesting either way.
Here are a couple videos showing off the experiment:
"The payloads collected a lot of data, and many reached high altitudes, with the highest topping out at 107,375 ft., over 20 miles high, or over three times the height of an average commercial jet," says Google's Zi Wang. "We also clocked one of the payloads at 139 mph at its fastest."
"By analyzing all the collected data, we were able to find some interesting trends," says Wang. "For instance, we determined the speed and altitude of the jet stream: about 130mph at 35,000 ft."
For other findings from the project, check out Google's post.