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Nexus One phone rockets to 28,000ft

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If you've ever wondered what happens when you stick a Google Nexus One phone in a rocket and blast it to 28,000ft from the Nevada desert, then here's your answer:

This fine piece of tomfoolery was the work of rocket fans down at the Mavericks Civilian Space Foundation, who provided a launch vehicle for the "Nexus One/Arduino SmallSat", designed to "demonstrate some open source apps that can convert an Android based smartphone into a satellite controller".

The SmallSat is the work of Cellbot.com Googler Ryan Hickman, ably assisted by NASA Ames contractors Matthew F. Reyes, Chris Boshuizen. There's more here.

Mavericks chairman Thomas Atchison said of the SmallSat concept: "The purpose of flying the Nexus One is to find a low-cost satellite solution. The radio, processing power, sensors and cameras in smartphones potentially have the same capability as those in satellites.”

He added: "Today’s satellites are the size of Greyhound buses, but I believe they are going to get smaller and more frequently deployed. This is a first-step effort.”

If you fancy trying this at home, you'll need said Nexus One (subject to availability), an Intimidator 5 rocket, a parachute, some insurance and a large desert. ®

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