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Early morning SpaceX launch leaves dazzling display in sky
02 July 2018, 07:45 | Ross Houston
A robotic astronaut named CIMON is on its way to the ISS
Early on June 29, SpaceX launched its 15th cargo mission to the International Space Station (ISS) for NASA, sending up almost 6,000 pounds of supplies on top of its Falcon 9 rocket. It is expected to dock with the International Space Station next week. Something went wrong about two minutes into the flight, and the rocket broke apart, raining debris out of the sky. On board, the automobile is verified for six astronauts living on the ISS, along with shipments of food and water as well as different science experiments and technologies in Microgravity. It will be the final launch of Falcon 9 block 4 of SpaceX on the old version of Mission Rocket, which is facing the company.
Meanwhile, NASA said the CIMON pilot "aims to provide first insights into the effects of crew support from an artificial intelligence in terms of efficiency and acceptance during long-term missions in space". "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.
The round, 3D-printed German Space Agency robot, which is slightly bigger than a basketball, will assist German astronaut Alexander Gerst with science experiments.
The launch marks SpaceX's fastest repeat flight of a booster rocket: The same Falcon 9 launched the planet-hunting TESS (Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite) satellite in April.
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Researchers say CIMON is not yet trained to respond to all possible emergencies and protocols on the space station.
It will hover at the eye level of astronaut and its front camera can easily detect if the person it is facing is Alexander, or someone else. On top of that, NASA wanted to make sure its outer space scientists had enough energy, so they also sent super-caffeinated coffee.
It is also created to interpret his emotional state.
The robot should be able to guide Gerst through various onboard procedures, showing videos or pictures to help with tutorials. The next-generation boosters feature improved reusability features and can be flown at least 10 times with minimal refurbishment and possibly up to 100 times with moderate work, according to CEO Elon Musk.
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