An astronaut conducted the first tests of NASA's Aercam Sprint, a robotic camera about the size of a beach ball. NASA's Aercam Sprint, a robotic camera about the size of a beach ball. In December, astronaut Winston Scott tossed the camera outside Columbia's open cargo bay, where it hovered 40 feet overhead, beaming down TV views of the shuttle. The $3 million camera is equipped with tiny nitrogen thrusters for navigation. Aercam's debut was a practice run for future missions in which it will serve as an eye on the yet-to-be-built space station. Engineers are working on a more self-sufficient model to inspect the outer fringes of the station.