The crew on board of the Russian spaceship Soyuz TMA-16M has used tablets during the flight to the International Space Station. This marks a premiere, since it’s the first time in history Russian astronauts use a slate in space.

Expedition 43 Soyuz Rollout

The idea was to replace the usual paper clipboards with slates. The astronauts received in electronic form a complete set of on board documentation, including the flight scheduled and ballistic information for dynamic operations. It’s not very clear what type of tablet was used, but I doubt it was an iPad, to be honest. These slates have already been banned from the Russian government, so a spaceship from Russia probably gets the same treatment.

Right now the Soyuz spaceship is the only one in the world that brings humans to the low Earth orbit, as the US is revamping its space program. Tablets on planes have become a common occurrence, so seeing them in space isn’t very stunning. The next step would be using them on another planet…