If successful, this new tech could pave the way for networks of satellite-connected devices to send data, which will be useful for military, tech, and meteorological agencies, to and from space via laser connections.
The company, Orbital ATK, is sending its Cygnus spacecraft, complete with NanoRacks CubeSats satellites, to the International Space Station. NASA is hoping that the mission will highlight the importance of small sensor spacecraft to the future of space exploration.
The twin satellites will propel themselves using water, while using cameras, beacons, and laser rangefinders to adjust the relative position measurements between the two devices.
NASA believes that the satellites could lead to "significantly enhanced communication speeds between space and Earth and a better understanding of laser communication between small satellites in low-Earth orbit."