NASA using Android phones to power low-cost satellites

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NASA is going to be using Android Nexus One phones as part of their PhoneSat project, which forms part of a larger program called the CubeSat Launch Initiative.

PhoneSat, which is being conducted by a NASA team based out of Ames Research center in California, will be powering mini-satellites with the Nexus One handsets. Three of the handsets are expected to be in orbit later on this year and they will form part one of the project. The Nexus One phones, along with external batteries and a radio beacon, will be send into low-Earth orbit by an Antares rocket in order to test the viability of the PhoneSat 1.0.

PhoneSat 2.0, should the Nexus One and the 10x10x10 cube it will be housed in survive the trip, will consist of a more advanced handset, solar arrays, a two-way S-band radio and a GPS receiver. Samsung’s Android-based Nexus S has been selected for this part of the program.

Tests have already been conducted to see how handsets would fare in a space. If the program is successful it will assist in reducing costs in small-spacecraft exploration. In addition the team hopes to use PhoneSats in moon exploration missions, Earth observations and even for testing components for space flight.

Source/Image: PC World

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