Google fires Nexus S into space, invites tenuous Galaxy S analogies (video)

How are you killing the time until the Nexus S finally goes on sale? Google's answer to that question has been a typically outlandish affair, involving seven Nexi, a collection of weather balloons, and another quest to see how much can be learned from a humble smartphone's sensors when they're shot to the edge of space. Yes, the Mountain View madmen fired a week's worth of their latest and greatest smartphones through the Earth's atmosphere, hoping to test both the durability and the information-gathering skills of the onboard compass, gyro, and accelerometer, while dedicated GPS modules were installed in each "shuttle" (made out of styrofoam beer coolers, if you can believe it) to help recover the cargo on its return to terra firma. So far, only six of the phones have been recovered -- might this be another of Google's crazy puzzles? A treasure hunt for an Android fallen from heaven? Video after the break.

Update: Want to see an Android in space? It turns out that Google was documenting the entire event, and has high-res images and footage of its mascot exiting Earth's atmosphere in a brand-new blog post. Find it at our more coverage links, or hit the break for some video!