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Thread: Andy Going Orbital Again - Being Prepped to Become Satellite Astronaut

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    Andy Going Orbital Again - Being Prepped to Become Satellite Astronaut


    Some intrepid British engineers are getting ready to send 'Andy' on another space-mission. Their mission is called STRaND-1 (Surrey Training Research and Nanosatellite Demonstration). The team at Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL), intends to test the capabilities of an Android smartphone in the harsh environment of space, in an attempt to find cheaper and easier methods to develop their satellites. Researchers from the University of Surrey's Surrey Space Centre (SSC) are also assisting them.

    During the beginning of the mission, the Android smartphone will simply be used as back-up to the spacecraft's primary computer. Eventually, 'Andy' will take over all functions to facilitate the test. They are including cameras to record the experiment. The spacecraft's radio will handle all communication to Earth. The Android is being tested as a less-expensive alternative control mechanism for the ship.

    The Android's open source OS is key to the experiment because of its ability to be modified. This allows them to customize it to control the on-board systems of their spacecraft. Doug Liddle, head of science at SSTL, said,
    "We're trying to use as much of the capability of the phone as possible... Ideally, the phone can take control and do the thinking." He also added, "If a smartphone can be proved to work in space, it opens up lots of new technologies to a multitude of people and companies for space who usually can't afford it. It's a real game-changer for the industry."

    I guess a certain Apple phone is too 'closed-minded' for space-travel?

    Source: Reuters via Phandroid
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    The iPhone may have been first, but Android will actually do something other than take pictures or video. Yet more proof that locking down the software is stupid and will lose you money.
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnomaz View Post
    The iPhone may have been first, but Android will actually do something other than take pictures or video. Yet more proof that locking down the software is stupid and will lose you money.
    I just saw the video, no clue it happened. Thats pretty cool. But yeah the Android phone will actually control a test satellite.

    Can't wait to see the results... I wonder which phone will they use.
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    Awesome! I wonder if these guys ever needed to modify the boot-loader of the phone if Motorola would give them special privileges or tell them to "use a different phone."
    “Innovation is not the product of logical thought..." ~Albert Einstein
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    Amazing things that they're planning to do with ol' android up there. Can't wait to hear more about this.
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    I just hope a critical mission doesn't hinge on Samsung pushing an update!

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