NASA is in the process of planning to use Google’s 3D mapping technology for its SPHERES project.

SPHERES stands for Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites  and was deployed by NASA in 2006 but couldn’t offer much more else than precise movement.

The space agency has since been working to make the device smarter by improving upon its communication, camera, processing capability and accelerometers.

They agency realized soon enough that the answer to all their woes lied in smartphones. And so they sent the Nexus into space and attached those to the ball-shaped SPHERES to achieve enhanced sensing and visual capabilities.