Nexus One could be the first Android smartphone to go into orbit

Ars Technica » Scientific Method 2013-02-08

The Nexus One may be a few iterations behind the latest Nexus handsets and other Android smartphones on the market, but that doesn't mean it isn't suited for a trip into space. As reported by ZDNet, the University of Surrey's Space Centre (SSC) will soon send what it says is the first Android-powered smartphone into orbit. The handset will be strapped to the STRaND-1, a "CubeSat" (a small satellite used for research) and will launch from Sriharikota, India later this month.

SSC's lead engineer, Dr. Chris Bridges, told ZDNet that the crew had done some very thorough testing on the handset to make sure it could handle the varying temperatures and radiation. "It has a good chance of working as it should," he said. "You can never make true design evolutions or foster innovation without taking a few risks."

During flight, the STRaND-1 satellite will collect data with experimental applications. The satellite will run apps that were chosen in a Facebook competition—apps like Scream in Space, which will use the Nexus One's speakers to test whether someone can, in fact, scream in space. In the second phase of the flight, the STRaND-1 team will hand over the satellite's in-orbit operations to the Nexus One to test out its capabilities with this type of scenario. The flight will be one of the first attempts at controlling a satellite with a smartphone.

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