The unique and innovative satellite, called STRaND-1, is a 30cm CubeSat weighing 4.3kg.
CREDIT: SSTL/SSC

 

World’s 1st Smartphone Satellite Dials Earth from Space

by Tariq Malik, SPACE.com Managing Editor
Date: 28 February 2013 Time: 10:48 AM ET

A tiny satellite powered by a Google Nexus One smartphone has become the world’s first “phonesat” to orbit Earth, its builders say.

The United Kingdom Space Agency’s miniature STRaND-1 satellite launched into space on Monday (Feb. 25) is one of seven spacecraft riding into orbit aboard an Indian rocket. It will test several new space technologies, including its WARP DRiVE — a novel space propulsion technology that will test a water-alcohol based thruster system.

“We’d hate to pick up the bill on those roaming charges,” UK Space Agency officials wrote via Twitter after the successful launch of the rocket, India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, India.

The STRaND-1 nanosatellite is a small, box-shaped Cubesat. It weighs just 9.4 pounds (4.3 kilograms) and is about nearly 12 inches (30 centimeters) long and 4 inches (10 cm) wide. It was built by the British Surrey Space Center and Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd., to serve as a spaceflight training and technology demonstration mission, officials said.

“This is a great example of the innovative approach that you can take with cubesats to develop and prove low cost commercial technologies for space while at the same time proving an exciting way of training and developing engineering skills,” UK Space Agency’s Chris Castelli, acting director of science, technology and exploration, said in a statement. “We wish the STRaND-1 team every success and look forward to seeing how the mission performs.”

STRaND-1 combines its Google Nexus One Android-powered smartphone core with a Linux-based high-speed processor in order to control itself.

Read more: First Smartphone Satellite Dials Earth from Space | STRaND-1 | Space.com.

Home           Top of page