This week the world’s first smartphone-powered satellite was successfully launched into orbit. STRaND-1 went into space aboard the Indian Space Research Organization’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle. Measuring only 11.8 inches tall, the nanosatellite will use an Android-powered Google Nexus One phone to collect scientific data, take pictures of Earth and it will allow people to upload videos that will play in space.

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The UK mission was developed by the University of Surrey’s Space Center (SSC) and Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL). By sending their STRaND-1 spacecraft into space, the UK researchers have beaten NASA—who had announced similar plans last year—to the punch. Only 11.8 inches tall and weighing 9.5 pounds, the nanosatellite will use the smartphone to run several experimental apps to collect data from space. Unlike conventional smartphones which stop working around 60.000 feet, the one used by STRaND-1 was specially designed for use space.

Besides the STRaND-1, other satellites aboard the Indian launch vehicle include an ocean-monitoring satellite developed in collaboration between the Indian Space Research Organization and French Space Agency, the Near-Earth Object Surveillance Satellite, which will look for large asteroids whose orbits might bring them in contact with Earth, as well as two satellites designed to study the brightness of stars.

+ STRaND-1

Via GMA News