Published: Mon, July 02, 2018
Science | By Clint Wade

SpaceX Planning 15th Resupply Mission to ISS

SpaceX Planning 15th Resupply Mission to ISS

A project in the works for the past two years, CIMON has been trained to recognize the voice and face of Alexander Gerst, 42, a geophysicist with the European Space Agency. Cimon is programmed to relate to astronauts. CIMON is to test this AI acquaintance technique, so the bot will only cooperate with the Gerst and other crew members for three hours at the station.

An artificial intelligence-powered robot tasked with assisting astronauts was launched into space for the first time ever Friday to join the crew of the International Space Station.

"It will come to him when he speaks".

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.

CIMON will serve as Gerst's right-hand man during his Horizons mission, where the ESA astronaut will carry out an array of science experiments, like measuring muscle retention during spaceflight, testing astronauts' perception of time, and designing plasma devices that disinfect wounds.

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Gerst can also ask the robot questions beyond the simple procedure at hand.

The used Falcon rocket blasted off before dawn, hauling almost 6,000 pounds (2,700 kilograms) of cargo including the spherical AI bot named Cimon, genetically identical mice and super-caffeinated coffee for the crew of the International Space Station. The study seeks to support development of countermeasures to protect astronaut health during missions, as well as to improve the treatment of immune, metabolic and sleep disorders on Earth. It said in a press statement that it wouldn't attempt to recover Falcon 9's first stage.

Roughly the size of a volleyball and weighing 5 kilograms, CIMON (Crew Interactive Mobile Companion) will float through the zero-gravity environment of the space station because of a system of fans. After this flight, all future of SpaceX will be on the Falcon 9 launch block 5-the ultimate and most powerful upgrade of the rocket which makes the land and even easier to reuse.

In the event of a delay, Sunday will host a backup launch attempt, but the forecast is expected to drop to 70 percent "go", Air Force forecasters said.

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