‘Flying brain’ on its way to space station

Falcon 9 CRS-15

Falcon 9 CRS-15

The used Falcon rocket blasted off hauling almost 2,700kg of cargo, including the spherical AI bot named Cimon; genetically identical mice, or mousetronauts; and super-caffeinated coffee for the crew of the International Space Station. Commissioned by the German Aerospace Center, CIMON has been in development for two years and was made by Airbus and IBM.

CIMON will verbally communicate step-by-step instructions to Mr. Gerst during three planned science experiments on the space station's European module.

"CIMON will use IBM Watson technologies to assist Commander Gerst in carrying out scientific work and including experiments and will conduct video documentation as a flying webcam", according to a statement from IBM.

To be honest, we find it more exciting than scary and we're sure the astronauts on board the space station will find his company interesting and useful.

"We have implemented this experiment in a very short time".

The group project developed and integrated artificial intelligence (AI) components into CIMON and have been training it to demonstrate a personality.

Research materials aboard the SpaceX Dragon include Mobile Companion, the first form of artificial intelligence on the space station.

The SpaceX Dragon spaceship lifted off from Cape Canaveral at 5:42 a.m. Friday, June 29. It is tuned to recognize ISS commander Gerst's face and his voice.

"CIMON allows the astronaut to keep both hands free, with no need to manually operate a computer, for example", said the German Aerospace Centre.

About 10 minutes into the flight, SpaceX confirmed that the Dragon had successfully deployed from the rocket's second stage and was in a "good orbit". From there, it is scheduled to rendezvous with the ISS on July 2.

On Friday sunrise, SpaceX will blastoff its 15th cargo mission to NASA on the International Space Station, which directs supplies of roughly 6,000 pounds above its Falcon 9 rocket.

The Dragon capsule which will dock Monday with the Space Station and deliver almost 6,000 pounds of supplies to the astronauts orbiting Earth - including some very strong coffee - has previously flown too.

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