Robots Everywhere IN SPACE!
An engineer from Robots Everywhere participated in the Phonesat project at NASA-AMES.
On April 21st the Antares rocket carried four PhoneSats from the NASA COTS program. Of the four, three performed their mission as intended. This is a pioneering attempt to build smartphone-based satellites in order to reduce development cost as well as weight for small orbital payloads. These satellites are cheap enough to be deployed in naturally decaying orbits, thus reducing the long-standing problem of space debris by effectively giving them a reliable expiration date; thanks to their small size, they burn up completely with perfect safety for anything above or below them.
We are proud to have lent a hand to the custom Propbridge variant that the PhoneSat have equipped. The firmware used in the satellite is available on the Parallax page.
- For Phonesat v.1, we have provided the custom kernel used to allow the Nexus One phone to communicate to the satellite’s control board.
- For Phonesat v.2, we have provided the serial router that connects the phone to other designs, and consulted for the magnetorquers.
- More information is available at http://www.nasa.gov/offices/oct/stp/small_satellite_subsystem_tech/phonesat.html
- PhoneSats have now launched — we’re officially in space! Please see http://www.phonesat.org for more information
Well, kind of…
As part of Mars Society Crew 145, we showed off out Renegade rover in phone-less configuration — at 5kg of mass, it can carry an astronaut in Martian gravity back to safety. We also set up an emergency solar power supply for a 3D printer to print a plastic part for a spacesuit’s life support system.
Ad Astra! Find out more here: http://mdrs.marssociety.org/home/crew-145/final-mission-report