SpaceX rocket carrying AI research blasts off for space station

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To be honest, we find it more exciting than scary and we're sure the astronauts on board the space station will find his company interesting and useful.

The spacecraft's occupant also included a robot named Cimon, short for Crew Interactive Mobile Companion.

A former astronaut helped arrange the delivery for the space station's Serena Aunon-Chancellor, a coffee lover.

The shipment - packed into a Dragon capsule that's also recycled - should reach the station Monday.

CIMON will be transported on SpaceX's Falcon 9 as part of a supply mission and will take off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 5:42 a.m. ET Friday.

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

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Cimon's human handlers promised the first AI space bot will behave itself and said there would be no mutinous takeovers like HAL from the 1968 film classic 2001: A Space Odyssey'.

The launch is scheduled for 2:42 a.m. Alexander is the geophysicist of the European Space Agency.

Manfred Jaumann, the head of microgravity payloads at Airbus, described CIMON as "a kind of flying brain". Using its 14 internal fans, CIMON can accelerate toward any astronaut calling its name and can appear to "nod" to show understanding of a command. "And while you're speaking, you can tell you're being understood", said Bret Greenstein with IBM.

Next year, Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano will be Cimon's orbital master.

All six crew members at the orbiting outpost can speak to CIMON, though it has been taught to work best with Gerst.

An Earth science instrument called the ECOsystem Spaceborne Thermal Radiometer Experiment on Space Station (ECOSTRESS) will provide a new space-based measurement of how plants respond to changes in water availability. The "flight-proven" Dragon spacecraft was tasked with carrying an estimated 5,900 pounds (2,676 kilograms) worth of supplies and equipment to low-Earth orbit (LEO). The dragon first went to the space station in July 2016, while the Falcon 9 was flying in April this year when it launched a new planet-hunting satellite for NASA called Tess.

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