NASA Launches Smartphones into Space

April 26, 2013 by

On Sunday, April 21 NASA launched three HTC Nexus One smartphones into space with Orbital Science Corp.’s Antare rocket from the Wallops Island Flight Facility in Virginia.

As part of the Small Spacecraft Technology Program, three Android-powered HTC Nexus One devices are being orbited into space to determine whether or not consumer-grade smartphones can be used as main flight avionics of a capable satellite.

Transmissions from the trio of ‘PhoneSats,’ which have been received at multiple locations on Earth, have indicated that they are operating normally thus far. Should these PhoneSats demonstrate the capability of being able to work as satellites in space, they could potentially allow engineers to build the lowest cost satellites ever launched into orbit.

Housed in a standard cubesat structure these PhoneSats are currently orbiting Earth, taking photos and sending radio messages.

The three devices are to remain in orbit for up to two weeks and will burn up as they re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere. 

Posted in: Google/Android, HTC


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