Mars Exploration and Artificial Meteor Showers: AI in Space Mars Exploration and Artificial Meteor Showers: AI in Space

Artificial Intelligence not only deals with the image recognition and sending mass messages, but also explores space! Let’s look at the products introduced in this field in 2018-2019.

AI will accelerate Mars colonization

American space companies have been interested in the Red planet for a long time. First telescopic photos were made back in 1960. Thanks to the modern technical opportunities, people have sent several space probs to Mars, planning to establish the first human colony there soon. Artificial Intelligence helps to discover the planet in order to prepare it for the settlement.

Thus, one of the three Curiosity Mars rovers from NASA is equipped with artificial intelligence block in order to navigate on the surface of Mars independently, even when there is no connection with the Earth. The system mounted on the probe is called AEGIS (Autonomous Exploration for Gathering Increased Science).

Current firmware version forbids the rover to conduct research missions alone, still it helps to move independently and select the Martian stones to be sent to Earth.

Intelligent Robots are helping at ISS

Astronauts on the International Space Station have to spend much time on daily work. In order to help with their simple but energy intensive tasks, NASA will supply ISS with Astrobee – three robots that look like bees.

Each of them is fitted with the computer vision allowing to move around the station freely. They are also equipped with manipulators that can be used for cargo operating or conducting experiments.

What is more, Astrobee is battery-powered. In the event of its discharging, the robot docks up to the power plant to be recharged automatically. Astrobee is going to the ISS already in late April this year.

Today, ISS engages an AI assistant – CIMON robot, which has been moved to the station the year earlier. Its main aim is to help astronauts in conducting the maintaining activities.

Astronomical entertainment

Artificial Intelligence in Space will be useful not only for conducting scientific researches and solving technical issues, but also for entertaining people on Earth.

Thus, in early 2019, Japan launched seven devices into space to test new technologies. One of them was a small satellite that would be able to create artificial meteor showers.

ALE-1 Satellite developed by ALE Co. Ltd is equipped with balls, with a diameter of 1 cm. They may be dropped from the spacecraft to create the artificial meteors. Such meteors burn much slower than their space counterparts. About 30 meteor showers can be run with this device. The technology is planned to be tested in the spring of 2020.

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