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High schoolers control satellites aboard space station

Would you trust a 16-year-old in space? NASA evidently does. Just after the sun rose on the East Coast on Jan. 11, astronauts aboard the International Space Station ran computer instructions, written by high school students, in bowling ball-size satellites floating inside the ISS cabin, Space.com reports. The students’ code told the satellites exactly where to go to complete challenges such as spitting out dust clouds and avoiding obstacles. Ceding control of small satellites to students is part of an annual competition called the Zero Robotics SPHERES Challenge, which is hosted by NASA, the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Today’s run is the Zero Robotics finals. Those interested can watch a live broadcast of the event. Fifteen teams from the United States and Europe are competing to get their satellites to perform tasks related to cleaning up space junk…

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