Floating AI Robot Sent to Space

Floating AI Robot Sent to Space

According to Spaceflight Now, SpaceX is slated to send almost 6,000 pounds (about 2,700 kilograms) of supplies and science gear to the ISS later today, making another commercial delivery with the same Dragon cargo capsule that made a trip to the space station in July 2016.

The closely held company controlled by Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk launched its Falcon 9 rocket and payload from Space Launch Complex 40 in Florida about 5:44 a.m. local time.

Both the capsules and rockets have moved first.

Live coverage of the rendezvous and capture will air on NASA Television beginning at 5:30 a.m. Monday, July 2.

Once aboard, CIMON-short for Crew Interactive MObile companioN-will assist the crew with its many activities.

CIMON will work with the space station's Watson AI - IBM's artificial intelligence technology - created to support space flight crews.

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To prepare CIMON for its trip to space, researchers trained the robot using photos and voice samples of German astronaut Alexander Gerst as well as ISS procedures and plans. "I mean, if you go out to the moon or to Mars, you can not take all mankind and engineers with you, but with an artificial intelligence you have instantly all the knowledge of mankind", said German Aerospace Center CIMON project lead Christian Karrasch in the video below.

The machine's "brain" is powered by a version of IBM Watson - the software that famously defeated "Jeopardy!" champions Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter in 2011 to win $US1 million.

"I was going to say breathtaking, but maybe awakening might be a better word", said NASA's space station program manager, Kirk Shireman. A computer could much more quickly tap into and relay helpful information.

The launch marks SpaceX's fastest repeat flight of a booster rocket: The same Falcon 9 launched the planet-hunting TESS (Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite) satellite in April.

"We have ignition and liftoff!" "We have to have autonomy, we'll have to have tools like this to have the species successfully live far away from Earth".

It was an especially gorgeous launch, delighting spectators as the rocket plume expanded in the clear night sky like a giant halo beneath a almost full moon and a gleaming Mars. This was the third launch failure of a cargo mission in just eight months.

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