A Russian rocket launched Monday, April 24, is carrying the first of three small, spherical satellites developed at MIT to the International Space Station -- a major step toward building space-based robotic telescopes and other systems.
The MIT SPHERES project -- the acronym stands for Synchronized Position Hold Engage Re-orient Experimental Satellites -- involves satellites about the size of volleyballs that are designed to float weightless in space while maintaining a precise position. A gang of such instruments, floating free in space, could serve as parts of a massive telescope looking for planets near other stars.
Launched from the Baikonur facility in Kazakhstan, the rocket with the satellites is expected to dock with the station today, April 26.
Elizabeth A. Thomson | MIT News Office
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