This Is Earth As Seen By Smartphone Satellites

By Eric Limer on at

A few months ago, NASA sent some Nexus Ones into space to see if a smartphone could hold its own against the million pound satellites already up there. The answer is "not exactly." When it comes to photography, it's probably best to stick with the space-professionals.

The trio of smartphone satellites coordinated to take hundreds of pictures of the blue marble, which were then sent back to Earth piecemeal over amateur radio waves for reassembly by space-enthusiast volunteers. That part was successful, though the pictures aren't exactly detailed. Between the transmission artifacting and the smartphone grade cameras it gets a little messy, but sort of awesomely so.

The phonesats burned up on reentry in late April so these composite shots are really all that remains from Android phones' first foray into satellite-hood. And while the photos are neat-lookin' in their own way, they definitely aren't "good." Maybe we should just try and perfect smartphone cameras here on Earth first. [NASA via Engadget]