If you’ve ever wondered about what it’s like to be inside the International Space Station through the lens of, say, a drone, look no further.
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has released images and video from its JEM Internal Ball Camera, known as “Int-Ball,” — a camera drone that can record images and video while moving in space — and the new footage gives us earth-dwellers a sneak peek of the happenings on the space laboratory.
The device itself is a tiny little ball (that looks like a Star Wars character, tbh) that can move autonomously in space, and take photos and video under remote control by the JAXA Tsukaba Space Center.
Image: Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency
According to the JAXA, the Int-Ball was initially delivered to “Kibo,” the Japanese Experiment Module on the International Space Station, on June 4, 2017, aboard SpaceX’s uncrewed Dragon capsule. With the device and it’s recording capabilities, JAXA is giving people a fascinating look at the inner-workings of the International Space Station.
The device uses existing drone technology, but its interior and exterior parts were manufactured through 3D printing. The goal of Int-Ball is to reduce the time the crew spends on photography — which currently amounts for 10% of the crew’s working time — to zero.
Int-Ball also allows ground workers to check footage in real time, and gives them the ability to see things from the on-board crew’s point-of-view. It “will contribute to maximized results of ‘Kibo’ utilization experiments,” according to JAXA, so the device is both cute and helpful.
You can learn more about Int-Ball and see the footage that it has delivered here.