The Zero Robotics Autonomous Space Capture Challenge, sponsored by DARPA and NASA, and run by the MIT Space Systems Laboratory, TopCoder, and Aurora Flight Sciences, is a programming tournament that opens the SPHERES satellite research platform to the general public for the first time. The goal of the tournament will be to develop an algorithm related to the recently announced DARPA Phoenix demonstration. The objective of this specific challenge is to write a computer program to control a satellite (called a “Tender”) to enable it to dock with a space object (or POD) that may be tumbling through space. The best algorithm submissions from simulation competitions will be tested in zero gravity on real SPHERES satellites aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

To get started, read the offical rules, create a ZR account, and make sure to register for the competition on the tournaments page. Until the start of the competition, familiarize yourself with programming SPHERES using the existing challenges on the website. Note: we will be making several upgrades to the website over the weeks leading up to the tournament, some of which will update the ZR API. Additional materials will be posted to the tournament page in the weeks leading up to the tournament, along with e-mail announcements.

Official Rules

How to Register

Click here to register or click the registration button on the tournaments page. A Zero Robotics account is required to register.