Power of open source….

View a highlighted version of “BBC News – Mobile phone to blast into orbit” at

Just the highlights:

* Mobile phone to blast into orbit By Jonathan Amos Science correspondent, BBC News

* British engineers are planning to put a mobile phone in space

* The phone will run on Google’s Android operating system

* It will be used to control a 30cm-long satellite and take pictures of the Earth in the mission later this year.

* Critical to the whole endeavour is the phone’s operating system. Android is open source software which means SSTL’s engineers can modify it to adapt the phone’s functions.

* For the first part of the mission, the mobile will act as the back-up to the main computer on the spacecraft. After a period of time, however, the phone will be put in charge.

* “The open source nature of the software is very exciting because you can see how further down the line, once we’ve got the phone working in orbit, we could get people to develop apps for it,” Mr Liddle added.

* “If a smartphone can be proved to work in space, it opens up lots of new technologies to a multitude of people and companies for space who usually can’t afford it. It’s a real game-changer for the industry.”