NASA is one of those rare agencies that can do just about anything they want, for no better reason than just because they can. Their latest project involves a satellite the size of a coffee mug. One that is powered by a smartphone.
These mini satellites are powered by Google’s Nexus One smartphones. It’s a part of the PhoneSat Project. The idea is to use commercial-off-the-shelf components, like for instance a smart phone.
They plan to launch these tiny satellites pretty often, the power source is plentiful and each satellite has a low cost at just $3,500. The smartphones will act as the satellites on-board computer. That’s one novel way to make satellites cheaper.