Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.
2017 July 25
Explanation: What if you were followed around by a cute floating ball that kept taking your picture? Then you might be an astronaut on today's International Space Station (ISS). Designed by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), the JEM Internal Ball Camera -- informally "Int-Ball" -- is a bit larger than a softball, can float and maneuver by itself but also be controlled remotely, can take high resolution images and videos, and is not related to Hello Kitty. Int-Ball was delivered to the ISS in early June and is designed to allow ground-control to increase the monitoring of ISS equipment and activities while decreasing time demands on human astronauts. Int-Ball moves by turning on small internal fans and sees with a camera located between its two dark eyes.
Authors & editors:
Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)
NASA Official: Phillip Newman Specific rights apply.
A service of: ASD at NASA / GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.