back to article Space station sphere-sats to collect rocks from Mars

It's all go this week in the field of tiny, spherical robots that float inside the International Space Station (ISS) on their own independent orbits about the Earth. Not only are the Synchronized Position, Hold, Engage, and Reorient Experimental Satellite (SPHERES) units to be upgraded by DARPA with various radical new …


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  1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    MetaData Correction?

    "However, one objective of the earlier scheme was to engage interest in high technology from the wider community, if possible pulling in all kinds of crowdsourced code contributions and so on."


    That should be cloudsourced code contributions as crowdsourced is misleading and nonsensical.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    This is the sort of basic research we need

    Plus I'm sure it'll be applicable to an X-37 that wants to dock with an uncooperative satellite, so we kill two birds with one stone here.

    On the other hand, I watch some of the SPHERES stuff on NASA-TV and they sure seem to "crash" or misbehave a lot, requiring a computer reset or reorientation by hand from an astronaut.

    And on the third hand, it was really cool to see the actual flown-in-space SPHERES at the 50th Space Conference at KSC too (as well as an engineering model of Spirit - those rovers are huge)

  3. Adrian Esdaile

    I'm so glad they didn't call them....

    Kinetic Intelligent Loitering Laser Energised Robot Systems


    Inflight Spherical Studies Electronic Apparatus To Explore Robotic Satelites


    Ovoid Variable Experimental Robot Launched Orbitally Recording Data Sets

    yes, mines is the Covering Organs Against Tornadoes.

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