Android phone blasts into space aboard satellite

STRaND-1 will even run an app called Scream in Space ...

A 2010-vintage HTC Nexus One is the brains of a satellite launched into orbit on Monday by the Indian Space Research Organization, dubbed STRaND-1.

STRaND-1, which weighs around 8 pounds, is the brainchild of UK-based Surrey Satellite Technology Limited, which designed the satellite both as a way to gauge how consumer-grade electronics will perform in space and to demonstrate pulsed-plasma thruster use on similar "nanosatellites." The name stands for Surrey Training, Research, and Nanosatellite Demonstrator.

According to SSTL, the Android phone aboard STRaND-1 will run apps that will collect scientific data, take pictures of Earth using its on-board 5MP camera, and even control some satellite functions. Temperature monitoring will prompt the device to run load-intensive programs, heating the CPU and avoiding a frozen battery.

[RELATED: Fabulous space photos from NASA's Hubble telescope]

[MORE ANDROID: Android outselling Apple iOS in America, new report says]

Along with its serious purposes, STRaND-1 will run an app called "Scream in Space", which will put the long-held saying "in space, no one can hear you scream" to the test by playing user-submitted videos and listening for any emitted sound.

SSTL didn't provide an exact unit cost, but said STRaND-1 is only a little more expensive than a "high-end family car."

The Nexus One won't take over for a couple of weeks, according to SSTL, as scientists on the ground verify that everything else aboard the satellite is working. Until the switchover, STRaND-1 is being controlled by the satellite's altitude control system and a Linux-based CubeSat computer.

STRaND-1 is one of six commercial payloads launched into orbit by the ISRO's PSLV-C20 mission, along with its primary cargo, the joint French-Indian oceanographic research satellite SARAL. There is, as yet, no word of a competing iPhone-powered satellite project, although both the iPhone and other Android-powered devices have already been carried into space by intrepid astronauts.

Email Jon Gold at jgold@nww.com and follow him on Twitter at @NWWJonGold, particularly if you want to commiserate over all the HAL-9000 jokes he had to cut out of this.

Read more about anti-malware in Network World's Anti-malware section.

2015 State of The IT Channel Survey : IT'S TIME!!! Fill in this year's State of the IT Channel Survey and be in the running to win great prizes. CLICK HERE

Join the ARN newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Appleconsumer electronicsNASAhtcNetworkingsmartphoneswirelessanti-malware

More about AppleHTCLinuxNASATechnology

ARN Directory | Distributors relevant to this article

Show Comments
 

Latest News

Mar 27
AppSense takes the wraps off its new analytics platform
Mar 27
SugarCRM beefs up its global executive team with three new hires
Mar 27
'Do Not Call' spam phone call legislation passed
Mar 27
HubOne lands its first channel partnership in Australia
More News
30 Mar
Australian experts to address cybersecurity challenges and solutions at Canberra...
21 Apr
APJ Progress Spark Conference
22 Apr
2015 Innotribe Startup Challenge
27 Apr
Disruptocon
View all events