British engineers to send Android smartphone in space for testing

By on Jan 24, 2011 in Europe, Science, Smartphone, Technology Comments

British engineers are now planning to send one unit of Android smartphone in space most likely late this year, apparently to test if smartphones will still be usable during extreme environment condition.

According to BBC News on Monday, a smartphone which is being expected to be running at Google’s Android operating system will be send to space for the first time by a team of engineers of Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) in Guildford.

The Android smartphone, which the specific model has not been announced but was said to be a standard mobile phone, will be used to take photos of the Earth and will control a 30-cm long satellite; and will be going into orbit several hundred kilometers above our planet.

The mission, called STRaND-1 (Surrey Training Research and Nanosatellite Demonstration) aims to find ways to reduce the cost of aircraft design.

“Modern smartphones are pretty amazing. They come now with processors that can go up to 1GHz, and they have loads of flash memory. First of all, we want to see if the phone works up there, and if it does, we want to see if the phone can control a satellite,” SSTL project manager Shaun Kenyon told BBC News.

“We’re not taking it apart; we’re not gutting it; we’re not taking out the printed circuit boards and re-soldering them into our satellite – we’re flying it as is,” Kenyon added.

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