Robots Aboard the International Space Station

NASA shares this video update on SPHERES and Robonaut 2 aboard the ISS

1 min read
Robots Aboard the International Space Station

NASA's doing a good job of keeping the International Space Station well-stocked with robots just in case there's a surprise alien invasion. Robonaut 2 is up there, along with a pack/fleet/swarm/assemblage of SPHERES robots. NASA's Ames Research Center, Johnson Space Center, and MIT have put together a little vid to keep us all up to date with their on-orbit robot happenings and how they plan to give Robonaut his own personal spaceship rear-attachment.

I love the idea of turning SPHERES into little space-Roombas that take sensor readings instead of snuffling up dirt, but from an outside perspective, it's a little bit frustrating that this is all taking so long to implement. I recognize that all of these robots are up in freakin' outer space so things can't be rushed, but Robonaut 2 was launched just over a year ago and SPHERES have been aboard the ISS for over five years. The astronauts are super busy, I'm sure, but as the video says, the point of having robots up there is to offload as much of the boring work as possible from the humans, and the sooner we can make that happen, the more time we'll end up saving in the long run and the more science we'll be able to accomplish overall.

Via [ NASA ]

The Conversation (0)
Two men fix metal rods to a gold-foiled satellite component in a warehouse/clean room environment

Technicians at Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems facilities in Redondo Beach, Calif., work on a mockup of the JWST spacecraft bus—home of the observatory’s power, flight, data, and communications systems.


For a deep dive into the engineering behind the James Webb Space Telescope, see our collection of posts here.

When the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) reveals its first images on 12 July, they will be the by-product of carefully crafted mirrors and scientific instruments. But all of its data-collecting prowess would be moot without the spacecraft’s communications subsystem.

The Webb’s comms aren’t flashy. Rather, the data and communication systems are designed to be incredibly, unquestionably dependable and reliable. And while some aspects of them are relatively new—it’s the first mission to use Ka-band frequencies for such high data rates so far from Earth, for example—above all else, JWST’s comms provide the foundation upon which JWST’s scientific endeavors sit.

Keep Reading ↓Show less