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back to article Nexus 1 put in orbit to prove 'in space, no one can hear you scream'

Surrey-based space boffins have put a Google Nexus 1 into orbit to see how an Android phone copes with the rigours of space - and whether they can hear it scream. The handset hasn't been switched on yet. It's being carried in STRaND-1: a 4.3kg microsatellite that was itself carried into space by an Indian rocket, ISRO PSLV-C20, …

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FAIL

Mobile Twitter?

Why link to the mobile version of Twitter? It looks awful on a full size screen!

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Mobile Twitter?

All right, calm down. Worst things have happened at sea. I've fixed the link.

C.

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Re: Mobile Twitter?

it looks shit on a full sized screen too. But the application of my own style sheet improves it no end - thank firefox for the x!

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Alert

Hang on....

Surely a Nexus 1, like so much other stuff, has one of those little EU logos saying it must be returned for recycling to an approved organisation and not binned, sent to landfill, burned up on atmospheric reentry, etc?

Is someone going to get into trouble?

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Mushroom

Re: Hang on....

You might want to address those concerns to the originators of the (when I last checked) 32 nuclear reactors in orbit!

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Re: Hang on....

I'm not convinced that the WEEE regulation covers being burned up on re-entry. Still, is the requirement not on EEE producers to pay for an items "reuse, recycling and recovery"? If so, this could produce a whole new level (like out of this world) for people trolling these companies. (Could you collect my phone from the Lagrange2 recycling point please?)

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Facepalm

Re: Hang on....

Well if we've got that crap floating around the planet anyway, what's the reason for not shooting all our nuclear waste at the sun rather than contaminating Cumbria for the next 80-million years?

We could ask the Norks for a delivery system as we appear to have been unable to come up with that new fangled rocket stuff since 1971.

What's the worst that could happen?

Huh?

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Boffin

Re: Hang on....

I think the problem is if it ends up in the Atlantic Ocean instead.

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Meh

no screams, just explosions...

"The screaming is quite silly given the way sound fails to propagate through the vacuum of space (much to the annoyance of many a Hollywood director)"

It didn't annoy them enough, they were/are happy to have loud explosions...

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Meh

Re: no screams, just explosions...

That's what I thought - they just ignored it. That and fireballs that fall back into the center of the explosion despite the no gravity, and debris that doesn't shoot off into oblivion at the explosive speed.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: no screams, just explosions...

Not to mention the speed of sound being equal to the speed of light.

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Mushroom

Re: no screams, just explosions...

Sorry chaps, but:

Spaceships do make sound and explosions in space do go bang.

And you can even hear the noise pretty much as soon as you see the event.

It all just depends where you put the microphone.

(Though I'll grant you that fireballs don't collapse back in on themselves).

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Stop

Re: Windows Phone was too heavy to put in orbit

Please stop now, it was funny for a while but you're trying too hard now and I'm starting to feel embarrassed for you whenever I see your posts.

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Trollface

Official: Android makes people scream, nobody can hear the cries for help ;)

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Official Apple Maps make people scream, but nobody can hear their cries for help since they're somewhere in the middle of a desert.

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Samsung makes you scream but nobody is allowed to hear because Apple patented it.

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Unhappy

nobody can hear the cries for help

you must be confused and thinking of the Apple product that kept on dropping calls.

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You will need to narrow it down a bit. Was it one that blew up too?

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Coat

> Official: Android makes people scream, nobody can hear the cries for help ;)

Wrong. Google hears, adds another data point to their database and asks if you'd like to buy some earmuffs.

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Facepalm

I love the way the BBC article refers to lack of sound propagation in a vacuum as a 'theory'.

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JDX
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Gravity is also a theory. What's your point?

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Anonymous Coward

What's the problem? Scientific theory is based off evidence. Creationists bastardise the term so it makes it sound like it's up for debate, like with Evolutionary Theory.

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JDX
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You don't mean creationist, you mean young-earth creationist. They're a pretty small minority so why the rush to bring them into a serious story?

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Headmaster

From the news article:

"In theory, because space is a vacuum there are no molecules, so sound cannot travel as vibrations are not carried."

In my opinion as a native English speaker that's a silly thing to say. 'In theory' means 'not yet proven' or 'I think so'. The above sentence means that the author is not sure about either the lack of molecules in a vacuum or that the lack prevents vibration and thus sound. Either way it's silly. The matter is beyond dispute and has been for a long, long time. The first two words are misleading and should not be present. The third word should probably also not then be present since I was taught never to start a sentence with 'because' :)

Now going back to the original tagline one could debate whether 'in space' means 'in the vacuum of space' or 'not on the surface of a planet'. If the mobile was inside someone's spacesuit then the English language allows us to state it as being 'in space' but of course the suit wearer would be able to hear it scream. So the tagline might actually be wrong. If you are in an environment where you are capable of screaming then almost by definition you will hear it and there are several ways that other people could hear you :D

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Pint

Re: "Theory" - in science

"Newton's theory of gravity was proven with experiment. Then it should have become Newton's Law of Gravity (like his generic Laws of Motion)."

Only it's proven by experiment to be wrong. Hence General Relativity.

It's really really hard to prove a theory correct because you have to prove it in all possible circumstances. You only have to prove it incorrect in one. This however doesn't necessarily relate to how useful the theory is in day to day life.

For example, I have a theory that "Beer is Good, but More Beer is Better". There have been occassional instances in my life where the available evidence has suggested this theory to be deeply flawed. However, on the whole, the theory makes me happy.

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Silver badge

Re: "Theory" - in science

A theory is more than conjecture.

But theories never become laws - a law is more like a "rule of thumb", such as a relation between observed behaviour. The law of gravity is the equation, the theory of gravity is the model that explains it. Laws can be incorrect - e.g., gas laws don't work in practice.

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I agree - they also say "They hope to use a purpose-built app to test the theory, immortalised in the film Alien, that "in space no-one can hear you scream"."

Which again sounds more like "theory" in its sloppy non-scientific use, in particular, the way they say "the theory", suggesting there is a specific scientific theory of "in space no-one can hear you scream". It also again carries the implication that this is still a matter of debate.

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Trollface

Probably because his mommy and daddy still administer beatings to his delicate little bottom in the name of God every now and then.

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JDX
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Which post are YOU responding to?

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Trollface

Re: "Theory" - in science

Hypothesis is probably a better term than theory in most cases.

The other half of the definition of a theory is that scientific theory must be falsifiable.

The hypothesis of "more beer is better" is falsifiable, even if it is a useful rule of thumb, so it shouldn't be classed as scientific theory.

What evidence could be produced which would disprove evolution? Or is it just a hypothesis? ;)

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FAIL

Scream

No-one in space, but what about all the tax payers, who have to fund this drivel!

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Boffin

Re: Scream

Actually, as I understand it (and I'm one of the team, although I'm speaking on my own behalf), much of the funding came from Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd., a commercial entity. The total cost of the satellite, according to the STRaND-1 FAQs, is "only slightly more than a high-end family car," so we're hardly talking big bucks.

In any case, that app was only one of a number chosen by open competition, and the mission itself is designed to achieve a large number of research, development and strategic objectives. By a successful launch, and our first telecommand/telemetry exchanges, we've already achieved a fair few of them. Screams in space is a nice publicity point, but hardly the point of the exercise.

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Pint

Re: Scream

and I'm one of the team

Upvoted because you do 'space stuff' for a living :)

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FAIL

Scream

Of course they'll hear it scream, the microphone and speaker are physically attached. Only when totally separated by a vacuum will they not hear it. They would need two satellites.

Astronauts are able to communicate on space walks without radio by making physical helmet contact and just talking.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Scream

The astronauts are talking into an atmosphere, which propgates the sound waves to the inside of their helmets. The helmet shell absorbs the sound wave and vibrates. Physically touching the helmets together allows that vibration to be propgated to the other helmet and thus into the atmosphere inside of the other helmet.

Whether the nexus screams will be heard will depend upon whether there is anyway for vibration to propogate between it and the device which is listening for the scream.

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Re: Scream

Are you saying that if I find two astronauts and put their 'helmets' together, we will be able to hear the Screams from the Nexus 1?

This new learning amazes me...

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Anonymous Coward

Whether there is anyway for vibration to propogate

Such as a solid satellite chassis? Sound will travel through solids too..

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Re: Scream

Given that both microphone and speaker are in the same craft* there will at least be an indirect connection so, depending on the sensitivity of the microphone it may well pick up something.

*when this mission was first announced, they were planning on using the microphone and speaker on the same device, which could be even more likely to pick up it's own vibration . It's not entirely clear from the wording this article ("microphone and separate camera") that this is no longer the case.

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Pint

Re: Whether there is anyway for vibration to propogate

Bingo! That's what I'm expecting, too.

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Anonymous Coward

Such as a solid satellite chassis? Sound will travel through solids too..

Assuming the nexus hasn't been mounted to the chassis with some kind of vibration asorbing/dampening technology, like say rubber or foam mounts, yes. The article doesn't detail how it's all fitted together.

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Re: Scream

"It's not entirely clear from the wording this article"

Apologies - the meaning was slightly lost in the edit: the phone will try to record the screams from its own microphone. I've made that clear in the piece.

C.

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Re: Scream

Good point. Everyone who knows is over at the Ops Centre, or taking a well-deserved rest, but I'll come back to you about it tomorrow.

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You won't hear the Nexus 1

But you will hear from the Million Moms complaining about space-homo-filth.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/02/26/porcine_rumpus/

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Anonymous Coward

I'll come back to you about it tomorrow.

and?

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Go

For the technically minded ...

Check out:

< http://www.uk.amsat.org/ >, < http://www.360app.co.uk/ >, < http://www.screaminspace.com/ > (terrible web site contrast), < http://www.sstl.co.uk/Missions/STRaND-1--Launched-2013 >. Also: < http://amsat-uk.org/2013/02/26/radio-amateurs-asked-to-collect-strand-1-telemetry-data/ >, < http://amsat-uk.org/satellites/strand-1/strand-1-videos/ >, < http://amsat-uk.org/2013/02/07/isro-plans-sarl-and-amateur-radio-satellite-launch-for-february-14/ >.

You can use SkyGrabber software < http://www.skygrabber.com/ > (works with PC card or Dongle) and an appropriate antenna.Orbit map: < http://www.uk.amsat.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Initial-Pass-of-STRaND-1-640x451.png >.

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