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In her tweet ISS expedition 59/60/61 astronaut Christina Koch shows two SPHERES doing something.

What are they doing exactly? Why do they appear to be connected?

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Had a blast cheering on the students from the SPHERES Zero Robotics Middle School Summer Program during their competition today! The SPHERES team tests algorithms developed by students and selects the best designs for the competition to operate the robots onboard @Space_Station.

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  • $\begingroup$ if you're wondering about the cool patterns on the SPHERES, see @tristan's answer. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Sep 3 '19 at 23:34
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    $\begingroup$ For future reference: space.stackexchange.com/a/17915/31521. This appears to be two identical hooks interlocking. One purpose for the SPHERES is testing docking GN&C code. Linking together like this requires a similar amount of precision. $\endgroup$ – CourageousPotato Sep 4 '19 at 4:22
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    $\begingroup$ It looks like they're going to arm wrestle ;) $\endgroup$ – amI Sep 4 '19 at 6:23

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