NASA: Kepler News and Features 23 Jul 2015, 11:27 UTC
NASA: Kepler News and Features 23 Jul 2015, 11:16 UTC
Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes (ING) 23 Jul 2015, 11:00 UTC
NASA Breaking News 23 Jul 2015, 09:16 UTC
Royal Astronomical Society 23 Jul 2015, 08:59 UTC
MIT 23 Jul 2015, 04:00 UTC MIT’s Lennon Rodgers, a research scientist who did graduate work in the MIT Space Systems Laboratory (SSL), led a team of students to build a universal docking port (UDP) for the Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient Experimental Satellites (SPHERES) testbed on the International Space Station (ISS). The flight versions were subsequently developed by graduate students Duncan Miller, David Sternberg, and Chris Jewison, working with Aurora Flight Sciences Corp., and launched to the ISS from Kazakhstan on Wednesday. The SPHERES with UDPs will be used to test autonomous, vision-based algorithms for complex docking maneuvers. Rodgers spoke with MIT News about what he hopes this mission will accomplish. Q: What was the inspiration for this docking system, and what were some of the issues and challenges involved in coming up with a workable system? A: We were initially exploring the feasibility of modular spacecraft, which is the idea that a spacecraft could be composed of multiple modules assembled in orbit. One application is the primary mirror of a large, space-based telescope. Instead of being limited by the size of the rocket, the mirror could be composed of multiple module segments and assembled in orbit. Another is testing algorithms for docking to a ...