How to make space fans jealous -- send the Google Nexus One into orbit

Forget about the boring Apple iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S III for a moment, because while they may be impressive in their own right, both handsets now pale in comparison to the HTC-built Google Nexus One. The three year-old smartphone is the first to reach outer space and is circling around the Earth right now -- a feat that easily tops any other hardware or software feature.

HTC claims the Nexus One is the "world's first smartpho-naut" after the Android-powered device skyrocketed onto orbit from India, aboard the STRaND-1 nanosatellite. And that's not the best part. The STRaND-1 features WARP DRiVE (Water Alcohol Resistojet Propulsion Deorbit Re-entry Velocity Experiment) and electric PPTs (Pulsed Plasma Thrusters). How cool does that sound?

The Surrey Space Centre ground station at the University of Surrey commissions and operates the STRaND-1, which can also be tracked by amateur radio operators. Furthermore, the nanosatellite will switch from onboard systems to the Nexus One and adjacent apps, after the necessary testing has been carried out. Surrey Satellite Technology Limited informs us that the apps ("some serious and some just for fun") were developed by winners of a Facebook competition that was held in 2012. Interesting, isn't it?

NASA's (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) previous announcement about strapping the Nexus One onto a rocket in 2010 is really dull by comparison -- it did not involve plasma thrusters nor a water-alcohol propulsion system. That said, the two projects share a similar concept -- the Nexus One is used to take pictures or shoot videos, among other purposes.

Thanks to the 360app, "gravity-bound folks" can "play big brother and request snapshots" immortalized with the smartphone. You can also follow up on the activity of STRaND-1 via 360app's Facebook page or Surrey Nanosats' Twitter account where both teams share new details every day.

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