NASA uses Android phones for satellites, maybe machine control systems are next

NASA has figured out that using an Android Phone is a cheaper way to build satellites.


Aug 27, 2012 - 10:30AM PT


Google in Space: NASA powers mini-satellites with Android phones


NASA is experimenting with new satellites that use off-the-shelf electronics to cut down on costs. At the heart of its new nanosatellite is a Google Nexus smartphone, which has both the processing power to run the orbiter and the sensors it needs to perform its mission.

NASA PhoneSat 1 testing

Today’s smartphone has many times the processing power of all the used computers during the Apollo moon landings. So why not use the smartphone to control a spacecraft? That’s the approach NASA is taking in latest project, which uses off-the-shelf to electronics, including a Nexus One Android phone, in the construction of a new nanosatellite.

As Android's growth continues, it seems that some time soon Android devices will go into the machine control systems.  Wouldn't it be nice if the same developers who work on mobile phones could develop for machine control systems.  Maybe your data center in the future will run on Android.