Cambridge University's 'space scream' phone experiment

Edvard Munch's The Scream and the Milky Way
Image caption A selection of videoed screams is being sent into space later this year

Students at Cambridge University are hoping to disprove the phrase "in space no-one can hear you scream" by playing pre-recorded screams in orbit.

Members of the Spaceflight Society (CUSF) will transmit the screams via a mobile phone on board a satellite.

A sound file will be sent back to Earth "which may or may not contain the screams in the vacuum of space".

A CUSF spokesman said they were not expecting much but hoped it might interest more people in space science.

The "scream in space" app is one of four that will be on board STRaND-1, a smartphone nanosatellite built by a team from Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd and the University of Surrey Space Centre.

Last year, the STRaND team ran a competition to find apps to go into orbit and CUSF's screaming app was one of the winners.

'Shoestring budget'

The CUSF team is asking people to upload their own screams on video to YouTube and a selection will be sent into space aboard the satellite later this year.

The aim is to test the phrase made famous in the marketing campaign for director Ridley Scott's 1979 film Alien - that no-one can hear a scream in space.

Image caption In the past the CUSF team has sent teddy bears into the stratosphere to encourage children to study science

Student Edward Cunningham said: "We are not holding our collective breath.

"There might be some buzzing, but this is more about getting young people interested in satellites and acoustics."

He added: "The principle of using a low-cost consumer device to do something high-tech and new on a shoestring budget is something we really endorse.

"We often use readily available materials in our own projects."

The Spaceflight team has been investigating "budget space exploration" since it was founded by undergraduates in 2006.

In 2008 it sent "teddy-nauts" equipped with cameras into the stratosphere, as part of a project to encourage school children to get involved in science and engineering.

Mr Cunningham said: "STRaND-1 is doing something that has never been done before and something you definitely can't do every day.

"We see the project as a great opportunity to promote interest in space and also have some fun.

"Why do we do all this? Because we can."

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