HTC Nexus One smartphone taken into space
CNATAIPEI -- A nano-satellite carrying a smartphone made by Taiwan's HTC Corp. has been launched into space to test the standard capabilities of a phone, according to British small satellite maker Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd.
February 28, 2013, 12:24 am TWN
The “STRaND-1” satellite, equipped with a Nexus One smartphone, was launched from India into a 785-kilometer Sun-synchronous orbit on Feb. 25 along with two propulsion systems and a new Linux-based high-speed attitude and orbit control system, the company said in a statement that day.
Developed by a team from Surrey Satellite and the University of Surrey's Surrey Space Centre, the satellite is on a training and demonstration mission, designed to test the capabilities of standard smartphone components in a space environment, the company said.
HTC was not immediately available for comment.
The STRaND-1 team plans to switch many of the satellite's in-orbit operations from a computer to the Nexus One smartphone, which uses Google Inc.'s Android operating system and has been loaded with a number of experimental “apps” — some serious and some just for fun, Surrey Satellite said.
One of them — a “Scream in Space” app — was developed by Cambridge University Space Flight and will make full use of the smartphone's speakers.
To test the theory that “in space no one can hear you scream,” which was made popular in the 1979 film “Alien,” the app will play videos of the best screams while in orbit, and screams will be also recorded using the smartphone's own microphone.
A “360” app will take images using the smartphone's camera and use the technology on board the spacecraft to establish STRaND-1'sposition.
The public will be able to request a unique satellite image of Earth through the website http://www.360app.co.uk/, where images can be seen on a map showing where an image has been acquired.
“STRaND-1 from the Surrey Space Centre and (Surrey Satellite) is an example of the real synergy of academic research linked to commercial development and exploitation that is the hallmark of Surrey,” said Sir Martin Sweeting, executive chairman of Surrey Satellite.
“I am looking forward to exploring opportunities for further launches and a wider collaboration on space projects in the future,” he said in the statement.
This file photo shows the Nexus One, which is made by HTC and uses Google's Android operating system. A nano-satellite carrying the smartphone has been launched to test the ...