The first smartphone-powered satellite will soon be launched into space, according to a release from Surrey Satellite Technology. Slightly less than a foot tall and barely over nine pounds, the small surveyor will also carry what is believed to be the first 3D-printed component to ever enter space.
After launch, which is set for Feb. 25, the satellite will be controlled by a computer in its first deployment phase. A Google Nexus One smartphone will control the satellite in the second phase, using Android operating system apps to collect data.
Engineers at the satellite company designed the configuration in their spare time and say smartphones have a lot of the features needed for successful satellite operation, including cameras, radio telemetry, accelerometers and advanced processors.
Image: The Surrey Satellite team and the smartphone satellite (Credit: Surrey Satellite Technology)