Nexus One Phone Rides a Rocket up 28,000 Feet

Priya Ganapati of Wired: Google’s Nexus One phone is going where few smartphones have gone before. A group strapped the Nexus One to the back of a rocket and launched it from the Nevada desert into the atmosphere to test the device’s performance up in the air.

The Mavericks Civilian Space Foundation, a group of rocket enthusiasts, used an Intimidator-5 rocket to send the device 28,000 feet into the atmosphere.

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

The idea is to drive down satellite cost by using off-the-shelf products and components, says Atchison.

“Today’s satellites are the size of Greyhound buses,” he says. “But I believe they are going to get smaller and more frequently deployed. This is a first-step effort.”

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