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Ames Research Center PhoneSat project will be launching a mini satellite with a Nexus One as the brains of the operation. The satellite will have a radio beacon and a low cost of only $3500.

The Nexus One will be the satellites onboard brain. It’s sensors will determine the orientation of the craft. The camera will be used for Earth observations.

The Nexus One has passed various tests from NASA which include thermal-vacuum chambers, vibration and shocks as well as suborbital rocket flights and high altitude balloon test.

The mini satellites will launch later this year on an Orbital Sciences Corporation’s Antares rocket. If this mission is successful the next batch will use Nexus S phones.