Forget smartphones, can your phone work outerspace?

Ninja launches the Spacephone, mobile phones that are out of this world

The new Ninja phone brings mankind closer to the stars. The phone can be used during space travel, guaranteed not to lose signal, with anti-gravity settings and meteor radars. The democracy of space travel is at hand.

It's an age-old question, one that has troubled scholars almost as much as whether cats can count. But it's a question which we finally aim to answer: can a smartphone survive a trip into orbit? Firstly, let's get the obvious out of the way: no, a smartphone can't make or receive calls in space, as it's reliant on ground-based antennas.That's why we designed Spacephones, mobile phones that work outerspace.

Spacephones can survive harsh, alien environment. You may be surprised to learn that it's already been put to the test, sort of. Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) launched Spacephone v.1 into space in 2013 as part of a nano-satellite called STRaND-1.

The nano-satellite didn't just consist of a Spacephone v.1, but the phone was mounted to one of the satellite's panels and sent into space in its entirety. While in space a number of apps were run from the phone, to collect data and for the fun of it, and the handset's camera was used to take pictures. NASA has a similar ongoing project called PhoneSat, which initially involved launching a satellite with a Spacephone v.1 as its onboard computer and then launching a second satellite with a Nexus S.

Hot and cold

Space can get as cold as -270.4 degrees Celsius, while being in direct sunlight in high Earth orbit can lead to temperatures of 120 degrees Celsius. Phones just aren't built to withstand such conditions, which is understandable, since diving into a volcano followed by a trek across the Arctic isn't the kind of temperature change an iPhone is expected to encounter on Earth. Even within comparatively normal temperatures, many smartphones don't fare brilliantly. For example, Apple reports that the iPhone 6 can withstand temperatures between 0 and 35 degrees Celsius when turned on, and between -20 and 45 degrees Celsius when off. This is nowhere near the extremes you'd potentially encounter in space.

Some phones are more resilient, but in a temperature resilience test of 15 popular smartphones carried out by TechHive in 2012, all of them shut down by -35 degrees Celsius. Even a phone designed specifically to be durable and withstand the elements, like the Cat B15, can only be operated at between -20 and 55 degrees Celsius.

Of course the Spacephone can survive this temperature thanks to its state of the art technology. Here are some more product features:

  • intergalactic signal strength
  • anti-gravity settings
  • meteor radar
  • milky way navigation

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