Published: Sun, July 01, 2018
Sci-tech | By Brandy Patterson

SpaceX makes its 12th launch of the year

SpaceX makes its 12th launch of the year

Also on board are a new spare hand for the space station's robotic arm, genetically identical mice, or mousetronauts, and super-caffeinated coffee for the ISS crew.

This medicine ball-shaped, weighing at around 11-pound, Crew Interactive Mobile Companion (CIMON) is the first AI-powered device that is being sent to space. And to infiltrate around, CIMON is equipped with 14 internal fans, which exposes the white ball to the station's air and to move it in the direction it needs to be expelled. "I mean, if you go out to the moon or to Mars, you can not take all mankind and engineers with you, but with an artificial intelligence you have instantly all the knowledge of mankind", said German Aerospace Center CIMON project lead Christian Karrasch in the video below.

Biniok said the concept of CIMON was inspired by a 1940s science fiction comic series set in space, where a sentient, brain-shaped robot named Professor Simon mentors an astronaut named Captain Future.

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Airbus and IBM have collaborated to create a basketball-sized sphere with a computer screen to assist astronauts in the International Space Station. "It is meant to show to what extent the astronauts' work can be supported in the European Columbus module on the ISS and relieve them, in particular, of routine tasks", said Christian Karrasch, CIMON Project Manager at the DLR Space Administration.

CIMON is capable of nodding in response to questions and will be able to zoom up to astronauts when being called by its name.

To get around, CIMON will possess the ability to fly throughout the ISS at will. Their common language will be English, the official language of the space station.

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Researchers say CIMON is not yet trained to respond to all possible emergencies and protocols on the space station.

The entire project, barely two years in the making, came in under 5 million Euros, or $5.8 million.

The spacecraft is expected to return in August later this year, on its return the spacecraft will carry back around 1,724 kilograms of research hardware and other disposed of crew supplies. An AI companion could provide instant assistance.

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The Associated Press Health & Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Department of Science Education.

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