Surrey Space Centre and Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd.
The satellite, which has been named the STRaND-1, was launched yesterday from a space centre in India, and has entered a 785 kilometre Sun-synchronous orbit.
On board the 3.5 kilogramme satellite is a Google Nexus One smartphone, which will take over control of the whole satellite during the second phase of the mission.
“This mission is a fantastic achievement and a great tribute to the hard work of the engineers involved,” said Professor Sir Martin Sweeting, director of the Surrey Space Centre at the University of Surrey.
However, for the first phase of the mission the satellite will be controlled by a Linux-based high-speed computer operating system from within the base station located at the University of Surrey.
During this stage of the mission, the smartphone on board the satellite will run a number of scientific and entertainment apps, selected through a competition process.
One of the winning apps was designed by students at the University of Cambridge, which aims to test the claim in the film Alien that: “In space, no-one can hear you scream”. Members of the public can submit their best scream at www.screaminspace.com, which will then be played on the smartphone’s speakers to test the silence theory.
The public will also be able to request a space image from various locations during the mission, at www.360app.co.uk.