Android OS Smartphone To Be Launched In Space: Results Unclear?

With so many smartphones already on our current market and plenty on the way, all are battling it out for supremacy. Customers now have the job of deciding what manufacturer and carrier to opt for, as well as what a phone can offer them in terms of specifications, build quality and so on. But talk today is of a group of engineers in Britain who want to take things a step further in finding out how good these smartphones actually are?

We are talking about launching a device into space. The group belonging to the Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) based in Guildford are doing just this. As the reported, the aim, is to find out whether the phone’s capabilities, running on Google’s Android OS, will be able to withstand the ultimate challenge, space?

At this present stage, the smartphone being used is still unknown, but what we have learnt is that it will be one taken off a retailer’s shelf for an approximate price of £300. It will be used to control a 30cm long satellite and its hoped to take pictures of the Earth to benefit a mission which is scheduled to take place later this year.

On analysing the results, it is hoped that by using a bulk standard smartphone from a High Street store, it may pave the way for future space technology to explore cheaper parts in their designs. Project Manager for SSTL “Shaun Kenyon” said in a statement, “Modern smartphones are pretty amazing. They come now with processors that can go up to 1GHz, and they have loads of flash memory. First of all, we want to see if the phone works up there, and if it does, we want to see if the phone can control a satellite.”

He followed on by saying, “We’re not taking it apart; we’re not gutting it; we’re not taking out the printed circuit boards and re-soldering them into our satellite – we’re flying it as it is.”

What are your thoughts on launching a phone into orbit? To find out more details on how they are planning on doing this, click here.