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01 July 2018, 07:58 | Justin Tyler
A robotic astronaut named CIMON is on its way to the ISS
According to NASA, it's SpaceX's 15th mission for commercial resupply services.
A robot with true artificial intelligence is about to invade space.
The Dragon spacecraft, meanwhile, last flew in July 2016 for SpaceX's ninth mission under the CRS contract.
The spacecraft is taking around 2,600 kilograms of supplies to the worldwide space station; these include an AI robot named Cimon, cellular biology equipment for cancer therapy, a chemical garden, and other earth science objects.
Both the capsules and rockets have moved first. Developed for Germany's DLR Space Administration by Airbus in collaboration with IBM, CIMON weighs around 11 pounds and is about the size of a medicine ball.
About 10 minutes into the flight, SpaceX confirmed that the Dragon had successfully deployed from the rocket's second stage and was in a "good orbit".
It has been described as a "flying brain" by Manfred Jaumann, head of microgravity payloads at Airbus.
"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.
CIMON is capable of nodding in response to questions and will be able to zoom up to astronauts when being called by its name. CIMON (Crew Interactive MObile companioN) can speak, respond to spoken commands and has a smiley face on its screen to put crew members at ease.
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.
Once back on, voice recordings are activated again.
Dragon will fly with almost 6,000 pounds of cargo, supplies and science experiments as part of the 15th of 20 missions under a contract between SpaceX and NASA's Commercial Resupply Services program, also known as CRS-15.
The Dragon capsule which will dock Monday with the Space Station and deliver almost 6,000 pounds of supplies to the astronauts orbiting Earth - including some very strong coffee - has previously flown too.
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