SPHERES is a collaboration between the MIT Space System Laboratory, and Aurora Flight Sciences, NASA Ames Reasearch Center. In the decade and a half since its inception, over thirty five graduate students and more than a hundred undergraduates have worked on the project, along with many engineers and reaserchers at Aurora Flight Sciences and Ames Reasearch Center.

MIT Space Systems Laboratory

The Space Systems Laboratory is part of Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.Founded in 1995, the SSL engages in cutting edge research projects with the goal of directly contributing to the present and future exploration and development of space. The objectives of the Laboratory are to explore innovative concepts for the application to future space systems and to train a generation of researchers and engineers conversant in this field.

Lead Investigators

Graduate Science Team


Undergraduates at MIT have the opportunity to participate in reaserch throught the Undergraduate Reaserch Opportunities Program (UROP). At any time there are many UROPS working in the SPHERES team, contributing valuable work to the program.

Aurora Flight Sciences

The Space Systems Laboratory is developing the SPHERES testbed in conjunction with Aurora Flight Sciences, a local provider of science and engineering services for spaceflight experiments. Aurora Flight Sciences will fabricate the flight hardware and is managing the NASA integration, safety, certification, and acceptance process.

The AFS SPHERES Program Manager is: Other AFS members working on SPHERES are:

NASA Ames Reaserch Center

The Ames Reaserch Center manages the operations of SPHERES on the ISS. ARC tests devices for saftey, schedules hardware launches and test sessions, and oversees communications with astronauts.

Past Team Members


Plus a vast number of UROPs.

Aurora Flight Sciences

Original CDIO Class Members