While many scramble to find the latest Nexus device in stock for purchase, the first Google phone is part of a much bigger agenda. The Nexus One is ready for lift off after being bolted to the side of the 30cm “cubesat” Strand-1, which has been in development for almost two years.
Not only will the Nexus One’s 5MP camera be used to capture images of space, but a collection of apps will stow away beyond the earth’s atmosphere to test such things as the magnetic environment surrounding the Strand-1. The tagline from the classic 1979 film Alien — “In space no one can hear you scream” — will also be challenged. An app that plays videos of people screaming will seek to answer questions about how sound travels in space.
The satellite is en route to India where it will piggyback on the launch of the Isro Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle on February 25th. Once in space, the Strand-1 will use experimental water-alcohol propulsion and plasma thrusters to maneuver. While the first set of experiments aren’t even underway, the folks at the Surrey Space Centre and Surrey Satellite Technology are already looking toward the Strand-2, which will use Xbox Kinect to locate and dock multiple satellites in orbit.
[via BBC | Thanks, roadpizza!]