The Nexus S takes a trip into space

A handful of Google engineers, students from UC Santa Cruz and seven styrofoam beer coolers each packed with a Nexus S sure sound like a lot of geek fun.  Start attaching weather balloons and talk about sending the phones to the edge of outer space, and it just got serious.  That's exactly what happened as this team set out to test the Nexus S sensors in the cold, harsh conditions of high altitude flight, using apps like Google Maps and Google Sky Map.

After three hours or so, the balloons popped and the phones (and their coolers!) came back to earth, chock full of useful data that Google plans to use with a UK satellite manufacturer to build small "commodity" satellites using core Nexus S technologies.  According to Zi Wang, a product manager for the Nexus S, "The phone is powerful enough."  And to think the hardest task I'll ever give to my Android phone is to remind me where I parked.  There's a video you don't want to miss after the break. [NewScientist (opens in new tab) via tecca; Engadget]


Jerry Hildenbrand
Senior Editor — Google Ecosystem

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There's nothing he can't take apart, but many things he can't reassemble. You'll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.

  • Wow. Cell phones sure have come a long way lol.
  • They should do it with Defy
  • What do these satellites do and are they fully rooted? !
  • They deploy sharks with lazer beams attached to their heads
  • That's it: we're phuqued.
  • Frickin laser beams attached to their frickin heads!
  • 60 miles or it doesn't count as space.
  • cheap commodity satellites? we'll all have our own satellites now?
  • Could it get a GPS lock?
  • I guess this means Samsung figured out how to get GPS working...
  • If they took pictures from "way up there" that's cool enough for me!
  • try doing that with a iphone pmsl
  • Lol. "Sir I just overclocked the sattelite to 400Ghz!" "Lol sergeant, download the fart app."
  • Sounds a lot like the recent project by the interactive agency Sevnthsin. Granted, the pictures from Yavin IV were from the iPhone, they had a Droid Eris on board for GPS.