On Sunday, November 14 at 11:20am ET, the documentary Zero Gravity about the MIT Zero Robotics program, led by Prof. Danielle Wood at MIT, will be showing at the DOC NYC Film Festival. Prof. Wood was recently named as the MIT Principle Investigator for Zero Robotics, at the invitation of the founding team.
Founded over a decade ago by MIT’s Alvar Saenz-Otero, Jacob Katz and David Miller and co-led by a team from Innovation Learning Center and Aurora Flight Sciences, Zero Robotics is an educational program that hosts tournaments to teach middle and high school students to write code and program with robots on the International Space Station (ISS). The Zero Robotics program originally allowed students to use robotics called SPHERES (Synchronized Position Hold Engage and Reorient Experimental Satellites); this system was developed by the MIT Space Systems Laboratory, in conjunction with NASA, DARPA, and Aurora Flight Sciences, to provide a safe and reusable zero gravity platform to test sensor, control, and autonomy technologies for use in satellites. In the next iteration, the Zero Robotics team will use the NASA Astrobee robotic platform.
Zero Gravity is a feature documentary that follows a diverse group of middle-school students from San Jose, CA, who compete in a nationwide tournament to code satellites aboard the International Space Station.
Seen through the wondrous eyes of three young students and their first-time coach, they each take an intimate and personal journey to space as their team grows from amateur coders to representing California in the ISS Finals Tournament—the culmination of a summer-long adventure that sees their incredible accomplishment performed by astronauts in orbit.
DOC NYC is an annual documentary film festival in New York City. Documentary storytelling is flourishing–encompassing reportage, memoir, history, humor, and more. DOC NYC celebrates this cultural phenomenon and encourages its new directions. The 2021 edition will be held both in person at NYC venues and online. DOC NYC is also an Academy-qualifying festival for short films.
Learn about accessing tickets to experience Zero Gravity online and in person in New York City on November 14 here.