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SPACE BALL

A cute floating robot from Japan is the newest camera aboard the space station

By Max Toomey

JAXA, Japan’s space agency, has released a robot onto the International Space Station that’s going to save astronauts time.

Int-Ball is a ball-shaped robot installed with a camera. It can float, controlled by a team on Earth using a series of propellors, and record whatever is going on on the station.

Right now, JAXA estimates, astronauts spend around 10% of their time taking pictures of what they are working on, images that are sent back to Earth for analysis. Int-Ball could change that, giving astronauts more time to get on with experiments and space station repairs.