Private Satellite in the Future ?

A consumer satellite where one can launch into space using balloon to inspect traffic congestion ? Such reality is made quite possible with the announcement from NASA about its PhoneSat project.

It is a project funded by NASA's Space Technology Program and managed by the Office of the Chief Technologist to explore the possibility of using smartphone technology to build lost-cost satellite.

Some analysts think that this is a result of austerity drive for NASA while others believe that it is an approach to adopt a more open technology culture since such move will be adopting technologies like Android.

A smartphone is almost as good as a satellite given its built-in support for fast processors, versatile operating systems, multiple miniature sensors, high-resolution cameras, GPS receivers, and several radios.

The project has successfully built and tested two version of PhoneSat. The latest version was built using Samsung Nexus S smartphone which delivers capability for faster core processor, avionics and gyroscopes. The prototypes have been subjected to testing under extreme conditions.

Personally, I welcome this as a positive development for human advancement in terms of science and galactic exploration up to consumer level. We may one day able to communicate with friends from another galactic from mobile devices.

For more details, refer to Malaysia Technology News.