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Google Nexus One becomes the first PhoneSat in orbit

Posted: , by Michael H.

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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.

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posted on 27 Feb 2013, 22:18 2

1. ramonleonjr62 (Posts: 48; Member since: 17 Oct 2012)

That ia great good for google !!

posted on 27 Feb 2013, 23:15 1

2. yyuu1000 (Posts: 240; Member since: 26 Jul 2012)

that apple might get angry but yay for google

posted on 28 Feb 2013, 00:04 2

3. BattleBrat (Posts: 1476; Member since: 26 Oct 2011)

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

posted on 28 Feb 2013, 01:29

4. Nikolas.Oliver (banned) (Posts: 1574; Member since: 01 Jul 2012)

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

posted on 28 Feb 2013, 02:20

5. Robert235 (Posts: 62; Member since: 30 May 2010)

Why not a phone with galaxy in its name.

posted on 28 Feb 2013, 02:32

6. Gawain (Posts: 423; Member since: 15 Apr 2010)

Whoops! http://www.phonearena.com/news/British-satellite-will-be-controlled-by-Google-Nexus-One_id39581 That was prelaunch though glad it made it into orbit.

posted on 28 Feb 2013, 02:33

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?

posted on 28 Feb 2013, 05:14 3

8. windroid (unregistered)

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

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 01:43

12. hepresearch (unregistered)

Very nice!


posted on 28 Feb 2013, 08:06

9. gmracer1 (Posts: 646; Member since: 28 Dec 2012)

Knowing that an Android was put to sucha great use gives me an awesome feeling.

Anyone else feeling the tingles? xD

posted on 28 Feb 2013, 09:00

10. Tux_Alan (Posts: 74; Member since: 30 Jan 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.

posted on 28 Feb 2013, 10:50

11. yougotkilled1 (Posts: 167; Member since: 27 Apr 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!

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