The participants compete to win a technically challenging game by programming their strategies into the SPHERES satellites. The game is motivated by a current problem of interest to DARPA, NASA and MIT. Student software controls satellite speed, rotation, direction of travel, etc. Depending on the game premise, the students must program their satellites to complete game objectives (navigate obstacles, pick up virtual objects, etc.) while conserving resources (fuel, charge, etc.) and staying within specified time and code-size limits. The programs are "autonomous" - that is, the students cannot control the satellites during the test itself.