We’ve heard of satellite phones before, but never one quite like this: a UK firm plans to launch an Android-based smartphone into orbit later this year, using it to control a 30-centimenter long microsatellite and to snap images of the Earth with its built-in camera. The effort, led by a team at Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) in Guildford, UK, wants to see just how well smartphones can function in the hostile environs of space.
Space is a big place, and NASA has lost a tiny satellite somewhere up there. Now the space agency is seeking the help of ham radio operators to find their troubled NanoSail-D, a nanosatellite that according to reports has finally ejected from NASA's Fast Affordable Science and Technology Satellite more than a month after it was supposed to.
In the wee hours of the morning today something very small did something very big very high above the Earth. NanoSail-D, a demonstration nanosatellite launched aboard the Fast, Affordable, Science and Technology Satellite (FASTSAT) last month, ejected from the mothership, marking the first time a small cubesat has been deployed from a larger autonomous microsatellite in space.