SpaceX Is Transporting AI Support Robot CIMON to ISS

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CIMON will work with the space station's Watson AI - IBM's artificial intelligence technology - created to support space flight crews. For example, CIMON can run Gerst through a complex process with the help of pictures and videos displayed on your screen.

About 10 minutes into the flight, SpaceX confirmed that the Dragon has successfully deployed from the rocket's second stage and was in a "good orbit".

"An observational pilot study with the [CIMON] 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", NASA said in a statement Friday after the successful launch. CIMON is to test this AI acquaintance technique, so the bot will only cooperate with the Gerst and other crew members for three hours at the station.

NASA astronauts Ricky Arnold and Drew Feustel will use the space station's Canadarm2 robotic arm to capture Dragon when it arrives at the station on Monday, July 2.

Gerst can also ask the robot questions beyond the simple procedure at hand.

The robot is supposed to assist the astronauts in their experiments.

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

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For this reason, this device has been equipped with microphones and cameras that will enable it to recognize Alexander easier.

Among the hundreds of pounds of hardware flying to the space station is a spare Canadian-built Latching End Effector (LEE).

Also among the cargo contents is a project to measure plant growth, called ECOSTRESS, as well as an experiment to learn how cells that line blood vessels grow in space in order to inform a novel cancer treatment.

SpaceX won't retrieve the booster for another flight because it is switching to a new model.

The last SpaceX Block 4 Falcon 9 leaves the launch pad at Canaveral's SLC-40 at 5:42 a.m. EDT on June 29, 2018.

Because it's perfectly round - a little bigger than a basketball - it's also safer, with no sharp edges that could damage space station equipment or poke astronauts.

With any luck, the rocket can be reused up to 100 times. It has stronger landing legs, better landing control and is completely reusable.