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High School Satellite Programming World Competition up on International Space Station

Intensive engineering/physics/programming-centric competition to build the culture of pushing the limits of system engineering for space exploration.

BRANCHBURG, N.J. - Feb. 13, 2017 - EntSun -- A team of 16 students from Storming Robots, a robotics and computer science educational organization, won Second Place at the latest International Space Station Satellite programming World Tournament held in late January of 2017.

The competition requires teams to write software that will control experimental, volleyball-sized SPHERES satellites used by astronauts on the International Space Station. The competition had over 400 High School students from around the world participate in this fierce competition to claim the championship.

The January 27 event concluded the 2016 Zero Robotics High School Tournament. You may wonder why the 2016 competition was held in 2017. It is because the event actually took place up in the International Space Station. Astronauts on the space station ran students'-competitors' software during the competition. Competition had to wait for any possible availability from the astronauts' busy schedule. "Take Robotics Satellite Programming to a New Height! Literally!"

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The Storming Robots' Quark Charm team formed an alliance team with two foreign teams, the Flying Falcons from Sydney, Australia, and Code-Space from Romania. There were more than 80 teams nationwide and over 70 international teams. After three months of competition with 3 elimination rounds via online simulations, 14 alliance teams advanced to the ISS-Final. At the ISS-Final, teams went through several elimination rounds again. The "Quark Charm" alliance team won and placed 2ND at the ISS-Final. The 1st Place was won by an alliance team named "SpaceLinguine" formed by two Italian teams and one US-Arizona team.

The competition is an "intensive engineering/physics/programming-centric" effort, said Elizabeth Mabrey, co-owner of Storming Robots in Branchburg, N.J. The goal of the NASA/MIT competition is "to build the culture of pushing the limits of system engineering for space exploration," she added. Mabrey described Storming Robots as a "robotics institution focusing on engineering and computer programming with algorithmic thinking for primary to high school students."

The entire event was broadcast via a live feed from the International Space Station via NASA TV. The teams were able to watch the entire event on Earth through a live feed from the International Space Station via NASA TV. The event recording will also be available online for a period of time to allow for viewing by others.

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The Storming Robots team consists of eight high school seniors, two juniors, five sophomores, and one freshman. The team's seniors are Alexander Saff of Highland Park; Ashley Yang, Bhavik Shah and William Cui of Basking Ridge; Brian and Jack Winkelried of Morristown; Stephen Therianos of Califon; and Daniel Kolano of Lambertville. Team members Karthik Murthy and Sunny Cheng of Bridgewater are both juniors. The team's sophomore members are Ethan Mak from Short Hills; Mehal Kashyap from Edison; Neelay Trivedi and Prateek Humane from Warren; and Sean Doran from Branchburg. Sonia Purohit, the team's sole freshman, is also from Branchburg.

Storming Robots teams from its robotic club have continuously made it to the ISS final since 2010 and placed 1st in 2011 ISS-Final, 1st in 2014 ISS-Final Simulation, and 2nd in 2016 ISS-Final. SR offers year round programs, including summer camp, focusing on robotic engineering and computer science.

More about Storming Robots can be found on its website, stormingrobots.com.

For more on the NASA/MIT competition, visit zerorobotics.mit.edu.

Media Contact
Storming Robots Administration

Source: Storming Robots

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