Remember last year we reported that space agency NASA was developing a lowest-cost Android powered small satellite named ‘PhoneSat‘ and planning to send it into space? The good news is, around two weeks ago the space agency sent that Android powered small satellite into space and recently, it successfully made a phone call to Earth from there.
The Android powered small satellite that NASA sent into space is the fourth version of PhoneSat 2.0, meaning PhoneSat 2.4. NASA spent $7,500 to build PhoneSat 2.4. However, this small satellite has powerful Samsung Nexus S inside it and the total weight of the satellite along with the phone is 2.2-pound.
However, Samsung Nexus S powered small satellite PhoneSat 2.4 features solar panels, a GPS receiver and a 2-way S-band radio so that engineers can command it remotely. Added to these, it has magnetorquer coils, electromagnets for interacting with Earth’s magnetic field, and reaction wheels to control the unit’s orientation in space. PhoneSat 2.4 satellite will test a system for changing the satellite’s orientation in space as well as measure how well off-the-shelf components perform over the course of a year. Here’s a video of PhoneSat 2.4.
NASA said in press release, “The smartphone provides many of the functions the satellite needs to operate, such as computation, memory, ready-made interfaces for communications, navigation and power, all assembled in a rugged package before launch.”
The next version of PhoneSat 2.0 satellite, meaning PhoneSat 2.5, is scheduled to be launched in February, 2014. It is expected that, that will also be an Android powered small satellite.