SpaceX Conducts 15th ISS Resupply Operation Under NASA Contract

Phil McAlister

In 2012, Dragon became the first commercial spacecraft in history to deliver cargo to the International Space Station and safely return cargo to Earth, a feat previously achieved only by governments.

Nevertheless, whether you think of CIMON as an advanced smart speaker, Hal, or a Westworld host, the innovative assistant could herald the future of manned (and robot-assisted) spaceflight for astronauts and their space-based experiments.

SpaceX employs the Falcon 9 rocket used for this mission, as well as uses the Dragon Cargo Capsule used to supply all the ISS.

The robot -the Crew Interactive Mobile Companion (CIMON) - looks like a ball with a screen featuring a friendly cartoon face to assist his interacts with German astronaut Alexander Gerst, whom he will help conduct experiments.

Traveling in space and living in low gravity environment can have many adverse effects on a person's body, this system will help in understanding the effects on microorganisms that are a part of human gastrointestinal tracts.

"We like to keep our astronauts super-caffeinated because they work harder then", Shireman joked after liftoff.

More news: Apple launching new AirPods, HomePod in 2019

Manfred Jaumann, the head of microgravity payloads at Airbus, described CIMON as "a kind of flying brain".

It is scheduled to reach the station on Monday. Commissioned by the German Aerospace Center, CIMON has been in development for two years and was made by Airbus and IBM.

When Gerst calls to CIMON, the floating robot will acoustically sense where Gerst is calling from, orient itself that way, and zoom over. "It understands Alexander", said Bret Greenstein, global vice president of Watson Internet of Things Offerings at IBM. 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.

Ricky Arnold and Drew Feustel, U.S. astronauts onboard the ISS, will use the Canadarm2 to grab the Dragon spacecraft.

On June 29, 2018, SpaceX Dragon Spacecraft left for it 15th resupplies mission to International Space Station.

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

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