Scientists have built a Google Nexus One smartphone into a satellite due to launch into space on 25 February. Barring software changes, the Android phone is completely unmodified and will be used in the heart of the orbiting spacecraft during its six-month mission. Riding a mini satellite PhoneSat named Strand-1, Nexus One will be assigned to take pictures of the earth from space and collecting data from satellites. Read More.....
Not only will the mission test how commercial, off-the-shelf tech can survive in the vacuum and conduct experiments, but it'll squeeze in some fun courtesy of apps developed by winners of a competition held last year. An app called 360 will let folks back on terra firma request their own snapshots of earth taken with the phone's shooter and pin them to a map. Ridley Scott might like to say no one can hear you scream in space, but another application loaded onto the device will put that to the test by playing user-submitted shrieks and recording them with the handset's microphone as they playback. Hit the break for more details and a brief video overview of the satellite, or jab the more coverage links to partake in the app shenanigans.
The 5-megapixel camera will be the only part exposed, as it will be used to take pictures of Earth and the Moon. And the satellite, at least initially, will be controlled by a Linux-based cubesat computer developed by the Space Science Centre, part of the University of Surrey.
To carry out their duties, the Nexus One is made by HTC and Google has been tested at various temperatures to ensure their product does not melt when they arrive at the Earth’s orbit. The image is taken using the camera of the phone and also an application called 360. The results of these shots will also be sent to Earth.