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Texas Students Compete in Space Station Robotics Competition

Press Release From: Johnson Space Center
Posted: Wednesday, August 12, 2015

More than seventy Texas middle school students will watch software they developed compete in space against similar teams from a dozen different states in the national Zero Robotics competition at NASA’s Johnson Space Center (JSC) on Friday, Aug. 14.

Students and members of the Texas Zero Robotics teams will gather at JSC’s Gilruth Center to observe the final competition live as it takes place aboard the International Space Station. Media are invited to attend. Events start at 7:40 a.m. CDT.

Zero Robotics is an opportunity for students to design research that is flown aboard the International Space Station. As part of a competition, students write algorithms for the Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites (SPHERES) to accomplish tasks relevant to future space missions. This summer’s teams wrote code to simulate robotic satellites collecting and uploading as many pictures as possible of points of interest on an asteroid while avoiding effects of solar flares.

Texas is one of 11 states participating in this week’s competition, involving more than 650 middle school students from across the nation. Current Expedition 44 crew members Scott Kelly of NASA, Oleg Kononenko of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) and Kimiya Yui of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) will conduct the competition aboard the station.

Media interested in attending should contact Dan Huot in JSC’s Office of Communications and Public Affairs at 281-483-5111 or daniel.g.huot@nasa.gov no later than 4 p.m. Aug. 13.

For more about the SPHERES Zero Robotics Challenge, visit:

http://zerorobotics.mit.edu/

For more about the International Space Station, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/station

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