AI heads to space on SpaceX Dragon

How Blockchain Can Benefit Space Exploration

AI heads to space on SpaceX Dragon

The unmanned Dragon capsule carried 5,900 pounds (2,700 kilograms) on its 15th supply mission to the orbiting lab, as part of a $1.6 billion contract with NASA.

The Falcon 9 is scheduled to launch from Cape Canaveral Space Launch Complex 40 at 5:42 a.m. with a Dragon spacecraft filled with tons of science experiments, food and other supplies. It will be the final launch of Falcon 9 block 4 of SpaceX on the old version of Mission Rocket, which is facing the company.

"An observational pilot study with the [CIMON] aims to provide first insights into the effects of crew support from an artificial intelligence in terms of efficiency and acceptance during long-term missions in space", NASA said in a statement Friday after the successful launch.

The Crew Interactive Mobile Companion, or CIMON, is an English-speaking droid, roughly the size of a basketball, that will help German astronaut Alexander Gerst conduct experiments on the International Space Station (ISS). Viewers can watch the arrival and installation live on NASA Television and beginning at 5:30 a.m. Monday, July 2.

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During its open-ended stay on the space station, Cimon should grow ever smarter and more knowledgeable, its system updated via IBM's Cloud.

About 10 minutes later, SpaceX's Twitter account confirmed Dragon was "in good orbit".

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

Airbus established CIMON for Germany's National Space Agency, and the objective is to understand if intellectual bots can collaborate with astronauts to make working life simple in space.

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It will hover at the eye level of astronaut and its front camera can easily detect if the person it is facing is Alexander, or someone else.

Ricky Arnold and Drew Feustel, U.S. astronauts onboard the ISS, will use the Canadarm2 to grab the Dragon spacecraft.

SpaceX sent a cargo spacecraft on a resupply run to the International Space Station on Friday, carrying with it three tons of equipment that included a robotic "floating brain".

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