phonesat202

We’ve talked about the cubesats in the past; 29 of these small satellites were on board a NASA rocket that launched last night.  These cubesats were built in conjunction with school students and NASA.  Check out the launch video below:

What makes these satellites particularly interesting is that many of them were built using off-the-shelf components typically found in cell phones. The internals of most modern smart phones are equipped with fast processors, various different motion sensors, GPS and high quality cameras.

“It’s tabletop technology,” Andrew Petro, program executive for small spacecraft technology, at NASA Headquarters in Washington says. “The size of a PhoneSat makes a big difference. You don’t need a building; just a room. Everything you need to do becomes easier and more portable. The scale of things just makes everything, in many ways, easier. It really unleashes a lot of opportunity for innovation,” he says.

These microsatellites not only help with education, but also can help keep costs down. Like all spacecrafts leaving Earth, these microsatellites were worked on in a cleanroom.