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SpaceX Cargo Run Taking 'Floating Brain' to ISS

SpaceX Cargo Run Taking 'Floating Brain' to ISS

A close up of the Falcon 9 as seen through a long-range tracking camera, moments after the first stage, upper center, separated from the booster's upper stage. (NASA/SPACEX)

By    |   Friday, 29 June 2018 09:54 AM

SpaceX sent a cargo spacecraft on a resupply run to the International Space Station on Friday, carrying with it three tons of equipment that included a robotic "floating brain."

The Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 5:42 a.m., CBS News reported, adding that the climb to space went smoothly and that the "used" Dragon cargo ship was released into orbit, making its way to ISS, where it is expected to arrive early Monday.

This is the second liftoff for both the Dragon and the Falcon 9's first stage, Space.com noted.

The capsule most recently visited the ISS in July 2016 while the booster helped to launch a NASA planet-hunting satellite in April.

Mounted atop the Dragon is about 3 tons of supplies, more than half of which is scientific gear, the most exciting arguably being the transportation of CIMON, the space agency's Crew Interactive Mobile Companion that uses artificial intelligence to support astronauts aboard the station.

According to NASASpaceFlight.com, CIMON features ultrasonic sensors for collision detection as well as various cameras and microphones to help it maneuver around the spacecraft and interact with space crew.

CIMON is developed by Airbus and IBM to recognize faces while also being able to replicate a number of different voices and accents, CBS News said.

"He" even comes with a personality and can tell a few jokes.

"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. "That's why we created a personality for CIMON."

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SpaceX launched its latest cargo run Friday, taking a "floating brain" robot, along with three tons of equipment, to the International Space Station.
spacex, cargo, brain, iss
Friday, 29 June 2018 09:54 AM
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