February 17, 2014

The ISS SPHERES Facility

Alvar Saenz Otero, Ph.D., associate director and SPHERES lead scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Space Systems Laboratory, presents an overview of the Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites (SPHERES) used for multiple robotics research investigations aboard the International Space Station. The SPHERES help researchers learn how to control bowling-ball sized satellites in a microgravity environment. Specifically, the research team is looking at how to control multiple satellites so that they work together. Planned uses for SPHERES include in space robotic assembly and refurbishing and repairing existing satellites in orbit.

credit: NASA

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