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Waspie_Dwarf

Smart SPHERES Are About to Get Smarter

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Smart SPHERES Are About to Get A Whole Lot Smarter

Smart devices – such as tablets and phones – increasingly are an essential part of everyday life on Earth. The same can be said for life off-planet aboard the International Space Station. From astronaut tweets to Google+ Hangouts, our reliance on these mobile and social technologies means equipment and software upgrades are an everyday occurrence – like buying a new pair of shoes to replace a pair of well-worn ones.

That’s why the Intelligent Robotics Group at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., with funding from the Technology Demonstration Missions Program in the Space Technology Mission Directorate, is working to upgrade the smartphones currently equipped on a trio of volleyball-sized free-flying satellites on the space station called Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites (SPHERES). In 2011 on the final flight of space shuttle Atlantis, NASA sent the first smartphone to the station and mounted it to SPHERES.

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Space Station Live: Smart SPHERES

NASA Public Affairs Officer Brandi Dean talks with Chris Provencher, project manager for Smart SPHERES at NASA Ames Research Center. By connecting smartphones to a trio of free-flying robots known as Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites, or SPHERES, these International Space Station robots become Smart SPHERES.

Credit: NASA

Source: NASA - Multimedia

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