AI robot crew member CIMON to join astronauts on space station
01 July, 2018, 19:59
SpaceX employs the Falcon 9 rocket used for this mission, as well as uses the Dragon Cargo Capsule used to supply all the ISS.
Both the capsule and the rocket have flown before.
"About 10 minutes after launch, Dragon will reach its preliminary orbit".
The spacecraft should arrive at the ISS around 5:30 a.m. on Monday, July 2, and splash down in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of California in early-to-mid August.
When Gerst calls to CIMON, the floating robot will acoustically sense where Gerst is calling from, orient itself that way, and zoom over.
CIMON will verbally communicate step-by-step instructions to Mr. Gerst during three planned science experiments on the space station's European module. "It understands Alexander", said Bret Greenstein, global vice president of Watson Internet of Things Offerings at IBM.
CIMON will work with the space station's Watson AI - IBM's artificial intelligence technology - created to support space flight crews.
All six crew members at the orbiting outpost can speak to CIMON, though it has been taught to work best with Gerst.
For more than 17 years, humans have lived and worked continuously aboard the International Space Station, advancing scientific knowledge and demonstrating new technologies, making research breakthroughs not possible on Earth that will enable long-duration human and robotic exploration into deep space.
CIMON was trained with astronaut lingo and instructional data to walk Gerst through dozens of steps related to his research project either by showing him videos, talking him through the process, or recommending tools. Gerst can also ask CIMON questions about those experiments on which he will work.
Once back on, voice recordings are activated again.
The mission, which is part of a $1.6 billion contract between privately owned SpaceX and US space agency NASA, should reach the station on July 2. It will serve as a spare at the station.
Faclon 9 also bears an earth science instrument called ECOsystem Spaceborne Thermal Radiometer Experiment on Space Station (ECOSTRESS) to measure and check how plants respond to the water availability in the outer space.
Dragon will fly with almost 6,000 pounds of cargo, supplies and science experiments as part of the 15th of 20 missions under a contract between SpaceX and NASA's Commercial Resupply Services program, also known as CRS-15.