London: India has become the world's first country to launch a smartphone into space - loaded with a number of experimental 'Apps', some serious and some just for fun.
The British-built Strand-1 spacecraft, developed by scientists in Surrey, was sent into orbit from Sriharikota in India to test the capabilities of a standard smartphone in a space environment.
Launched into a 785 km Sun-synchronous orbit on Indian Space Research Organisation ISRO's PSLV launcher on Monday, the spacecraft is an innovative 3U CubeSat, weighs 4.3 kg and is the world's first "phonesat" to go into orbit, as well as the first UK CubeSat to be launched.
Developed by a team from the University of Surrey's Surrey Space Centre (SSC) and Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL), STRaND-1 is a training and demonstration mission, designed to test commercial off-the-shelf technologies in space.
"STRaND-1 from SSC and SSTL is an example of the real synergy of academic research linked to commercial development and exploitation that is the hallmark of Surrey," Professor Sir Martin Sweeting, SSC Director and also Executive Chairman of SSTL, said.