How Mobile Phones Will Pioneer Future Space Technology

Today's mobile phones are yesterday's supercomputers, which make them powerful enough to suit the needs of aerospace engineers, who want to create a future of micro-satellites. 

What's the Latest Development?

A British team of volunteer engineers are working to make mobile phone components the newest development in space exploration and create a new generation of micro-satellites. Called Strand-1, the team is currently placing a mobile phone at the heart of an 11-inch satellite. "...apps will exploit the phone’s inbuilt magnetometer – used for its compass – to measure the magnetic field around the satellite. It will even use the wi-fi capability." If a wireless intra-satellite link can be established, the weight of future satellites, which use sizable cables to make an Internet connection, can be reduced. 

What's the Big Idea?

Today's mobile phones contain the computing power of supercomputers built in the 1970s, which could then occupy entire floors of buildings. And in addition to the billions of dollars of research and development that have created today's communication technologies, other properties make mobile phones well-suited for space travel: "Mobiles are remarkably robust, capable of surviving everything – from the extreme heat of a car dashboard in Africa to the cold of an Alaskan winter. They can be dropped on concrete, left in the rain and even survive the washing machine (although not, as I discovered, the tumble drier). In comparison, space should be a doddle."

Photo credit:

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Douglas Rushkoff – It’s not the technology’s fault

It's up to us humans to re-humanize our world. An economy that prioritizes growth and profits over humanity has led to digital platforms that "strip the topsoil" of human behavior, whole industries, and the planet, giving less and less back. And only we can save us.

Think Again Podcasts
  • It's an all-hands-on-deck moment in the arc of civilization.
  • Everyone has a choice: Do you want to try to earn enough money to insulate yourself from the world you're creating— or do you want to make the world a place you don't have to insulate yourself from?
Keep reading Show less

Physicists puzzled by strange numbers that could explain reality

Eight-dimensional octonions may hold the clues to solve fundamental mysteries.

Surprising Science
  • Physicists discover complex numbers called octonions that work in 8 dimensions.
  • The numbers have been found linked to fundamental forces of reality.
  • Understanding octonions can lead to a new model of physics.
Keep reading Show less

Why 'upgrading' humanity is a transhumanist myth

Upload your mind? Here's a reality check on the Singularity.

  • Though computer engineers claim to know what human consciousness is, many neuroscientists say that we're nowhere close to understanding what it is, or its source.
  • Scientists are currently trying to upload human minds to silicon chips, or re-create consciousness with algorithms, but this may be hubristic because we still know so little about what it means to be human.
  • Is transhumanism a journey forward or an escape from reality?
Keep reading Show less