Smartphones and Apps – The New Space Explorers


You have probably watched the famous film Alien or, at least, you have heard of it. In this 1979 movie, actress Sigourney Weaver had one very interesting line: “In space no one can hear you scream.” Scientists from the University of Surrey seem to be fans of the film since they will test this theory in one of their space missions.

The project will be conducted by the institute’s Space Centre and Surrey Satellite Technology. That, however, is not the shocker in the story. Actually the curious part here is that scientists will use a smartphone to prove or debunk the scream idea.

This theory stems from the fact that in the space there is only vacuum and no molecules. Therefore, sounds like speech, music or screams should not be able to travel as they do on the Earth.

The smart device will rely on an application that was created exclusively for the space experiment which bears the name “Smartphone-Sat”. Through it, the handset will play different pre-recorded human screams.

According to the team behind the project, the mission is an impressive achievement. The people involved in Smartphone-Sat have developed a satellite called Strand-1. At the beginning of the mission, a basic onboard computer will control the satellite. However, at one point, it will be replaced with the smartphone and, more specifically, its apps.

But which is this mysterious device? Which will be the first smartphone in space? The University of Surrey informed that this will be Google’s Nexus phone. To qualify for a space explorer, Nexus had to undergo a number of tests including irradiating, freezing and heating.

Using various applications the smartphone will be able to measure the magnetic field around it. Also, it will take photos with the device’s 5MP camera. Scientists will use them to find the satellite’s exact location. All the pictures made by the smartphone will be shared on the social networks.

The screams will be played by another application that was created by Cambridge University Space Flight. It will use screams that were uploaded by people on the site of the project. They best screams were chosen by a jury and will be played back and forth on board of the satellite.

The Strand-1 satellite was launched only a few hours ago. You can follow the mission’s progress on Twitter.


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