Google Nexus One becomes the first PhoneSat in orbit

Google Nexus One becomes the first PhoneSat in orbit
It seems like something that should have been studied long before now, but Surrey Satellite Technology and the University of Surrey's Surrey Space Centre has decided to look at how off-the-shelf electronics fare with the harsh world of space. With that in mind, the group has put the Google Nexus One into orbit, making the phone the first PhoneSat to be in orbit.

The group is studying a number of other things, but the interesting thing for us is the Nexus One. On Monday, the Nexus One was launched into orbit in a CubeSat called STRaND-1. A CubeSat is a small satellite that is only about 10cm cubed. In addition to the Nexus One, the STRaND-1 also houses altitude and orbit control system, two propulsion setups and a Linux-based computer with a "high-speed" processor.

In addition to studying the effects of space on consumer-grade electronics, the STRaND-1 will be putting into use apps that won a contest last year. One will give users photos from the Nexus One pinned to the map, and another will play user-submitted "shrieks" and attempt to record them using the Nexus One's mic, although we're not sure that the idea that there's no sound in space needs more testing at this point. 

If nothing else, this may be the last time we hear about the Nexus One until it becomes a bonafide antique.

Related phones

Nexus One
  • Display 3.7 inches
    800 x 480 pixels
  • Camera 5 MP (Single camera)
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon S1, 0.5GB RAM
  • Storage , microSDHC
  • Battery 1400 mAh
  • OS Android 2.3.4



11. yougotkilled1

Posts: 167; Member since: Apr 27, 2011

The first phone to have a 1ghz processor, first phone to set the bar for android, and the first phone to enter space. Awesome!

10. Tux_Alan

Posts: 74; Member since: Jan 30, 2013

The whole thing behind using a phone as a satellite will make lots of sense if we get better satellite launching options in the near future, would make small buisnesses and research projects be able to produce their own satellites at a relatively reasonable cost.

9. gmracer1

Posts: 646; Member since: Dec 28, 2012

Knowing that an Android was put to sucha great use gives me an awesome feeling. Anyone else feeling the tingles? xD

7. hepresearch unregistered

What I can't understand here is how they will heat the thing enough to keep the electronics from failing immediately in the vacuum temperature of space. I couldn't get half of the Nokia's to work at just 50,000 feet tethered to a weather balloon. Maybe it houses a sealed, heated, pressurized environment inside those 10 centimeters cubed?

8. windroid unregistered

Sealed, cold protected by aerogel and gold foil, heated by its own operation (Joule effect).

12. hepresearch unregistered

Very nice! +1...

6. Gawain

Posts: 452; Member since: Apr 15, 2010

5. Robert235

Posts: 70; Member since: May 30, 2010

Why not a phone with galaxy in its name.

4. Nikolas.Oliver

Posts: 1574; Member since: Jul 01, 2012

why not google nexus 4 instead? it's more advanced ..

3. BattleBrat

Posts: 1476; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

To go where no phone has gone before!...

2. yyuu1000

Posts: 260; Member since: Jul 26, 2012

that apple might get angry but yay for google

1. ramonleonjr62

Posts: 48; Member since: Oct 17, 2012

That ia great good for google !!

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