Skip to main content

Space Station Robot Installs Neutron Star Explorer: Watch the Time-Lapse Video

NASA's Neutron star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER) was installed on the International Space Station in June 2017. This time-lapse video was created using cameras on the orbital lab and shows the orbital outpost's Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator (SPDM), aka Dextre, transporting NICER.

NICER launched to the space station on June 3 aboard a SpaceX Dragon cargo ship. The experiment is designed to study neutron stars , the densest observable objects in the universe, NASA officials have said. NICER officially began science operations in July. 

"No instrument like this has ever been built for the space station," NICER principal investigator Keith Gendreau of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland said in a statement. "As we transition from an instrument development project to a science investigation, it is important to recognize the fantastic engineering and instrument team who built a payload that delivers on all the promises made."

Note: senior producer Steve Spaleta contributed to this report.

Email Tariq Malik at or follow him @tariqjmalik. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook and Google+. Original article on

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at:

Tariq Malik

SPACE.COM EDITOR IN CHIEF — Tariq joined the team in 2001 as a staff writer, and later editor, covering human spaceflight, exploration and space science. He became's Managing Editor in 2009. Before joining, Tariq was a staff reporter for The Los Angeles Times. He is also an Eagle Scout (yes, he has the Space Exploration merit badge) and went to Space Camp four times as a kid and a fifth time as an adult. He has journalism degrees from the University of Southern California and New York University. To see his latest project, you can follow Tariq on Google+, Twitter and on Facebook.