Thursday, 20 September, 2018

'Flying brain' created to follow German astronaut launches Friday

Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Fla. The used Falcon rocket blasted off before dawn hauling nearly 6,000 pounds A robotic astronaut named CIMON is on its way to the ISS
Doris Mccormick | 01 July, 2018, 22:19

According to NASASpaceFlight.com, CIMON features ultrasonic sensors for collision detection as well as various cameras and microphones to help it maneuver around the spacecraft and interact with space crew. Measuring 32cm across and tipping the scales at 5kg, it's essentially astronauts' flight attendant and assistance system.

Partners in the project include Airbus, The German Aerospace Center (DLR), IBM and the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universit├Ąt Munich (LMU).

CIMON will verbally communicate step-by-step instructions to Mr. Gerst during three planned science experiments on the space station's European module. "It uses Watson AI technology from the IBM cloud and, with its face, voice, and artificial intelligence becomes a genuine "colleague" on board". This is the shortest change time required for the Falcon 9 rocket so far. "With CIMON, we are entering new territory and operating at the threshold of technological feasibility".

And CIMON has trained some time on Earth with German astronaut Alexander Gerst, who is already on the ISS board.

Currently, astronauts read these instructions from a laptop, which Mr. Biniok says is an arduous process that a responsive, hands-free companion like CIMON can replace. "Thanks to this fully voice-controlled access to documents and media, the astronaut can conveniently navigate through operating and fix instructions and procedures for experiments and equipment".

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A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, the final Block 4 version of the launch vehicle to be launched, lifted of from the Cape's Space Launch Complex 40 on a mission to resupply the International Space Station (ISS) on Friday, June 29, 2018.

Crew members will be able to correspond with CIMON via voice commands and access a database of procedures.

"Dragon confirmed in good orbit", SpaceX tweeted about eight minutes after the launch, following completion of the second-stage engine burn.

An Earth science instrument built by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, and experiments investigating cellular biology and artificial intelligence, are among the research heading to the International Space Station following Friday's launch of a NASA-contracted SpaceX Dragon spacecraft at 5:42 a.m. EDT.

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

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