Science

Weather looks good for Friday morning SpaceX launch from Cape Canaveral

Weather looks good for Friday morning SpaceX launch from Cape Canaveral

Aiming to lower launch costs by reusing rockets, SpaceX did not retrieve the booster for another flight and instead ditched it in the Atlantic.

"That's actually our overall mission, to create a crew companion, a real crewmate to the astronauts", said Matthias Biniok, lead IBM Watson architect for Germany, Austria and Switzerland and the project lead for CIMON, according to the network.

The Dragon spacecraft, meanwhile, last flew in July 2016 for SpaceX's ninth mission under the CRS contract.

ECOSTRESS, short for ECOsystem Spaceborne Thermal Radiometer Experiment on Space Station, will measure how much water plants need and how they respond to stress.

Both the capsule and the rocket have flown before.

German astronaut Alexander Gerst, who arrived at the orbiting lab a month ago, will introduce Cimon to space life during three one-hour sessions.

"About 10 minutes after launch, Dragon will reach its preliminary orbit".




An observational pilot study with the Crew Interactive MObile companioN (CIMON), aims to get first insights into the effects of crew support by an artificial intelligence (AI) in terms of efficiency and acceptance during long-term missions in space.

The robot has been described as a "flying brain" by Manfred Jaumann, head of microgravity payloads at Airbus.

'He's a friendly guy and he has this hard power-off button, ' German Space Agency physicist Christian Karrasch, the project manager, told The Associated Press.

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. Gerst can also ask CIMON questions about those experiments on which he will work.

Once toggled to "offline", Gerst can be sure nothing he is saying is streamed down to the IBM server on Earth.

Live coverage of the rendezvous and capture will air on NASA Television beginning at 5:30 a.m. Monday, July 2.

A ball-shaped artificial intelligence robot nicknamed the "flying brain" because it is trained to follow and interact with a German astronaut, blasted off Friday toward the International Space Station (ISS) aboard SpaceX's Dragon cargo ship.


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