The world’s first space smartphone was launched into orbit today (Feb 25) atop an Indian Space Research Organisation PSLV rocket from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, India. It’s part of the systems of the STRaND-1 spacecraft, which was sent into a 785-kilometer (488-mi) Sun-synchronous orbit where it will carry out a series of technology demonstrations under the guidance of the Surrey Space Centre’s ground station at the University of Surrey, UK.
Launched along with the twin BRIght Target Explorer (BRITE) spacecraft, STRaND-1 is also the UK’s first CubeSat. It was developed by a team from the University of Surrey’s Surrey Space Centre (SSC) and Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL). The 10 cm x 30 cm (3.9 in x 11.8 in) 3U CubeSat weighs 4.3 kg (9.4 lb) and is carrying out a training and demonstration mission. In addition to the Google Nexus One smartphone it has a Linux-based high-speed processor, attitude and orbit control systems, eight pulsed plasma thrusters, and a water-alcohol propulsion system.
The first phase will be controlled by the Linux processor as STRaND-1 carries out tests on its new experimental propulsion and control systems. In the second phase, the smartphone will take control in order to demonstrate how many smartphone systems can be readily adapted for satellite applications.
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Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc