image courtesy Brighthand
When the alien invaders arrive, they’ll no doubt swing by the International Space Station for a quick rest stop before invading Earth. Let’s hope they’re fans of open source software and not iOS fans, since they’ll find Samsung Nexus S phones powering several satellites there.
According to Brighthand:
SPHERES were created by a group of undergraduate students at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in conjunction with the Department of Defense and NASA, in 1999. Present on the International Space Station since 2006, SPHERES are individual satellites self-contained with propulsion, power, navigation and computing. Each SPHERE was designed with an “expansion port,” with the idea that additional sensors would be added.
The Nexus S will enhance the satellites to act as remotely operated robots to conduct interior survey and inspections of the station, while capturing mobile camera images and video. These smartphone-equipped SPHERES will also study how robots can support human exploration and perform mundane tasks, such as running inventory, so the astronauts can to dedicate more time to science.
We may not be launching any more shuttles, but it’s good to see we’re launching high-end smartphones instead. And if you’re wondering if the roaming charges are going to exceed NASA’s budget, don’t worry; they’ll be using WiFi to communicate with the phones.
This is obviously not anything that we as consumers will benefit from in the short term, but it gives bragging rights to Nexus S users! Next time an iPhone user starts showing off, a Nexus S owner can simply say, “Yea? Well, is your phone floating around in space? Didn’t think so!”
And because this was the first thing that popped into my head, here’s the trailer for “Muppets from Space”…sort of like Androids from Space!