A British satellite company called Surrey Satellite Technology is working on a nano satellite that uses off-the-shelf consumer technology to save money. Traditional satellites can cost millions of pounds apiece to build whereas Surrey says that its nano satellites can be built for hundreds of thousands of pounds each. That is a massive savings and to reach that low-cost not only of the satellites small, but they use your average consumer technology.
For instance, the onboard computer that would run the show is a Google Nexus smartphone running Android. The satellites also make use of Microsoft Kinect technology. The videogame technology would allow the satellites to sense where another satellite is close by and then allowed to satellites to dock. The docking action will allow multiple small Satellites to be placed in orbit where they could self assemble into a larger satellite with more functionality.
That docking tech would also allow modular satellites where components can be replaced as needed. Each of the little nano satellites is smaller than a shoebox. It’s interesting that a satellite could use a smartphone like the Google Nexus device as an onboard computer. The Google Nexus S has been in space before.[via SlashGear]