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Home / Science / SpaceX brings station charge – and "floating brain" – into orbit

SpaceX brings station charge – and "floating brain" – into orbit

Before dawn, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket went into orbit on Friday and set off for the International Space Station with three tons of equipment, supplies and scientific equipment. A technique that harnessed artificial intelligence as an astronaut's assistant at heart and Kidneys will check. The launch of Pad 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station arrived punctually at 5:42 am EDT, approximately at the moment Earth's rotation plunged the pad into the orbit of the space station orbit – a prerequisite for rendezvous missions.

After a brilliant exhaust jet from its nine first-stage engines, the 229-foot rocket gently climbed away from its fire station and rolled north-east. The Atlantic Ocean offered spectacular views as the cloud spread in the upper atmosphere at low pressure Light caught the rising sun in a spectacle that was visible over Florida's space coast.

This was SpaceX's 1

2th flight this year, and the third for NASA, with a previously flown first stage launching a NASA Planet Hunting satellite in April, and a "used" Dragon cargo ship in the year Flew to the space station in 2016. [196592002] The first stage was the last "Block 4" model in SpaceX's inventory. The Block 4 version was not designed to fly more than twice, and SpaceX made no attempt to restore the booster after launch, letting it crash into the sea instead.


A close-up of the Falcon 9, as seen through a long-range camera, moments after the first stage, lower middle, separated from the upper stage of the booster.

NASA / SpaceX

But after this flight, SpaceX will switch to upgraded blocks 5 designed for 50 or more flights, with only minimal repairs being made between takeoffs.

"SpaceX is from the beginning keen to make space flights more commercial flights," said Jessica Jensen, manager of Space's Dragon program in Florida. "We want to make it safe and affordable, and use vehicles that can be retired again and again.

" This is the key to the future of a civilization where thousands to millions of people explore the stars and live on other planets. The mission of tomorrow is a small step towards this goal.

The ascent into space went smoothly and the Dragon capsule was released nine-and-a-half minutes after takeoff to fly everything itself Cargo ship will reach the International Space Station early Monday and more than 3770 pounds of equipment and supplies to the lab

A gripping device or "hand" for the station's robotic arm is loaded into the kite's pressureless stem section, along with a sophisticated NASA radiometer that will examine how the vegetation is exposed to high temperatures, drought, and other forms Reacts to Stress: Both components, totaling 2,170 pounds, will later be mounted on the station.

Inside the transmitter is CIMON (pronounced Simon), a spherical robot the size of a basketball, CIMON stands for Crew Interactive Mobile CompanioN "

The robot has a TV monitor with a cartoon-like face, several integrated Microphones, speakers and video cameras and a propulsion system that moves autonomously in the Columbus module of the European Space Agency

CIMON was developed by Airbus and IBM for the German Space Agency and can recognize faces and multiple voices and accents and has been associated with a kind of personality programmed. "He" can even tell jokes when the mood is right, with the same voice known from Watson's time in the Jeopardy game show.

"This is actually our mission to create a crew companion, a true crew partner for the astronauts." said Matthias Biniok, head of IBM Watson for Germany, Austria and Switzerland and project manager for CIMON. "That's why we've created a personality for CIMON."

What kind of personality?

"My personality expert always says CIMON is a typical German," Biniok said in an interview with CBS News. "So he's very, very straightforward when it comes to work, when it comes to procedures and experiments, and as soon as it gets a bit chattering, Small Talk like, then he'll also be funny, tell some jokes, try to be one good companion. "


Airbus & # 39; CIMON" flying brain "will use IBM's Watson artificial intelligence technology to serve as a virtual assistant aboard the International Space Station and the German Astronaut Alexander Gerst while experimenting to help perform procedures and other tasks.


When asked how he personally referred to CIMON, Biniok, 26, said he saw the robot "a bit like a son, sometimes he works really hard and sometimes he's mean and does not do the things that I want." to do it!

In this case, CIMON receives a lecture in the form of revised instructions, and as for the kind of jokes CIMON could tell, Biniok said that most of them came from a student and "some of them are pretty tough. But yes, I think that should be a surprise to the astronauts. "

The idea for CIMON came from an Airbus engineer in an old cartoon called" Captain Future. "Biniok said that the show had one Robot called Professor Simon showed, "actually a flying brain and it looks very similar to CIMON here."

But the actual brain power for the first CIMON demonstration exists in the IBM Cloud on Earth CIMON will ask questions or comments from Gerst about forward the station's satellite Internet connection to Watson AI and then forward the answer to Gerst, who said that the delay between question and answer is about two seconds.

Future versions of CIMON will incorporate integrated AI to address the need for a to eliminate or at least minimize direct contact with the Earth.

"This is our vision," said Biniok, "we want astronomers n support, especially on long-term flights to the Moon, Mars and beyond. … This will be one of the next steps to move the AI ​​components from Earth to the International Space Station or to another spaceship, especially when we go to the Moon or to Mars. "

Closer to home, he said the technology is also being used by more than 20 industries in more than 45 countries," because it's all based on IBM Watson, based on the IBM Cloud, and it's available to all businesses that use it Want to use AI in their companies. We already use it in healthcare, the automotive industry, banking and around the world.

For his first space flight CIMON will try some relatively simple tasks, assisting the German astronaut Alexander Gerst in conducting experiments and helping him to solve a magic cube and some others.

Equipped with microphones that show where Gerst is, when he speaks, CIMON will turn to face the astronaut and fly over to Hi's place to help with a particular task, it will even bounce up and down as if it nods in agreement or turns from side to side, to report a negative reaction.

The idea is that Watson's AI will be loaded with flight procedures, experiments, and maintenance details A clever astronaut assistant who learns at work and provides quick answers to complex questions.

"Stell Imagine, you are an astronaut on the ISS and you have to do a sophisticated experiment, "Biniok said." Right now you have to make an L aptop hovering and searching for a PDF process, maybe you need to search this PDF document for a specific step, then you'll have to fly back, maybe wear gloves again, and continue working on your experiment.

Such routine operations take time, he said. But with CIMON: "You can just ask these questions and let him guide you through the whole experiment."

"I think that CIMON is good for it, it can increase the efficiency of the astronauts and thus shorten the time." Consumers by just letting the voice speak, "Biniok said," he can simply ask CIMON, "What's the next step, what should I do now, what kind of tool do I have to use now?" "

The first space-based tests are expected in a few weeks. "19659037]
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