Smartphone innards powering low-cost satellite

Of all the various Android phones to have been blasted into space, the humble Nexus S is perhaps the most prolific. The handset first took a trip into the stratosphere in late 2010, followed by a return trip on the space shuttle Atlantis the following year. Now, just in time for its third birthday, Samsung's first Nexus is heading towards the stars once again as part of NASA's PhoneSat 2.4 project.

The endeavor, part of the space agency's plans to develop low-cost satellites, puts heavily modified Nexus S circuitry inside a four square-inch cube weighing just 2.2 pounds. A two-way S band radio allows NASA engineers to control the device from the ground, and solar panels on the cube's exterior provide the unit's power. The smartphone then acts as the satellite's brain, with sensors such as the magnetometer (compass) helping to correctly align the PhoneSat with the earth. The whole package cost NASA just $7,500 using off-the-shelf parts, according to Vice's Motherboard blog.

Further PhoneSat launches are expected in 2014, including plans to eventually network eight of the devices together in orbit.

Source: NASA, Motherboard; via: The Verge

 
There are 10 comments

So they're trying to be economical and cost cutting by using off-the-SHELF materials?

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Just watch the video

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I'm in class so I can only read right now. Lol

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NoNexus says:

But will it get the OTA to kit kat?

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So where is the competition for the Note 3? Oh right there isn't any...

MERCDROID says:

No, but it should be on Jellybean XD

Posted from my "Gift from God" Nexus 5

NoNexus says:

But Nexus. WHAR UPDATES WHAR!

:-)

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So where is the competition for the Note 3? Oh right there isn't any...

alexlam24 says:

Your move Apple. Oh wait you can't!

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LB LB says:

How does it communicate with Earth?

"A two-way S band radio allows NASA engineers to control the device from the ground"

techydavid says:

S so do you think apple would let NASA do that? NO.

Posted via my weird GT-P3113