Samsung and Boeing collaborate on mobile tech in space

Samsung mobile technology is set to be used for on-board camera viewing and social communications aboard Boeing’s CST-100 spacecraft, according to former astronaut, Christopher Ferguson.
Written by Leon Spencer, Contributor

Samsung mobile technology will play a vital role in Boeing's CST-100 spacecraft, according to former astronaut and Boeing's director of crew and mission operations for its commercial crew program, Christopher Ferguson.

"Use of Samsung mobile onboard will be used for checklists, on-board camera viewing, and social comms," Ferguson tweeted this week. "And Samsung mobile in space will be just plain cool!"

Ferguson's tweets expanded on Boeing's official announcement this week that it was collaborating with the Korean tech giant on ways to incorporate its latest mobile technology into its new Crew Space Transportation CST-100 spacecraft — which is still under development.

Boeing said that the agreement, announced at the 30th annual Space Symposium in Colorado, would see the two companies identify how mobile technology can be used to improve CST-100 crew and mission operations, with the initial results of the collaboration expected to be delivered later this year.

"Just as they've done on Earth, mobile tools and devices will enhance the way we operate in space day-to-day, making mission operations more efficient," said Ferguson, who piloted the final space shuttle mission for NASA in 2011. "Like any other person doing his or her work, an astronaut values connectivity and the ability to share experiences."

The Boeing CST-100 spacecraft was developed as part of NASA's Commercial Crew Program. The CST-100 is designed accommodate up to seven passengers or a mix of crew and cargo to low-Earth orbit destinations.

Ferguson hinted at when Boeing could expect to see the jointly-developed technology make its way into space, tweeting "civilian orbital space travel can happen on a US spacecraft as early as 2018."

This is not the first time Boeing and Samsung have collaborated previously on wireless technology — if not for space-based purposes — with the two companies announcing in 2012 they would work together to research and develop technology aimed at improving in-flight entertainment and communications for terrestrial aircraft, as well as enhance factory productivity.

In February, the aerospace giant revealed it was making inroads into Samsung's territory, announcing the development of a secure smartphone designed for the US defence and security communities.

The Boeing Black smartphone, which uses Android, is designed to destroy its data and render itself inoperable if tampered with. The phone also features encrypted data storage, an epoxy-sealed tamper-proof case and no serviceable parts.

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