A group of high school students will compete in the third annual Zero Robotics SPHERES Challenge on Monday January 23rd. They will be operating under the aegis of some high-flying sponsors, namely NASA, DARPA, and MIT. (That’s the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for the acronym challenged.)
NASA will upload software developed by 27 teams of high school students onto Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites (SPHERES), which are bowling ball-sized spherical satellites aboard the International Space Station.
The students will have their code sent to the space station, where an astronaut will command the satellites to execute the teams' flight programs. The 27 teams of students were determined by winning a series of previous competitions.
The winning team of the SPHERES Challenge will be the students who achieve the highest software performance over several rounds of competition.
The event will take place on January 23rd at the MIT campus in Cambridge, Mass., and will be broadcast live on NASA Television from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. EST
The winning team will be awarded certificates and a SPHERES flight patch that was flown to the space station.