The University of Surrey in the UK successfully launched an Android smartphone into orbit Monday. The Google Nexus One smartphone will be tested to see if it can control the 10cm x 30cm, 4 kg satellite.
The STRaND-1 satellite—an acronym for Surrey Training, Research, and Nanosatellite Demonstrator—is controlled by a high speed Linux-based data processor and powered by eight pulsed plasma thrusters as well as a new propulsion system called WARP DRiVE (Water-Alcohol Resistojet Propulsion Deorbit Re-entry Velocity Experiment). Once the satellite is comfortably in orbit, researchers will attempt to control its with the Nexus One.
While in orbit, the Nexus One smartphone will use its 5-megapixel camera to establish STRaND-1's position as well as take and upload 360-degree panoramas to its Facebook page. It will also play videos submitted by the public so they can scream in space.
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