A Virtual Space Traveller

If there is one fact about human beings that doesn’t get discussed enough, it’s our dislike for restrictions. We can deal with anything, but getting neutralized by a limitation of some sort is when we start to feel a little odd. In fact, this odd feeling quickly translates to us questioning the very basis of a given limitation, and when that happens, we often end up constructing a way out. Over the years, humans have used their rebellious nature to eliminate many things, which were seemingly holding them back. On one occasion, however, we saw a similar attempt taking shape, only in a much more sensational fashion. The attempt would go on to deliver technology to the world. Since technology’s arrival, our bids to be free have grown increasingly meaningful, thus eventually resulting in major upgrades all over the spectrum. Now, while, in hindsight, each of these upgrades looks fairly important, we can’t help but fixate a little more on what might just prove to be a turning point for human life. Yes, we are talking about the strides made on space exploration frontier. Years after sending humans to the moon, we are now actively searching for life on other planets. However, as that pursuit continues to gain momentum, there is another intriguing development taking place within NASA’s camp, and we can very well expect to see it sooner than you’d think.

NASA is set to revisit the moon this year, with the space agency gearing up for a launch in March 2022. Named as Artemis 1 mission, the trip will use an Orion spacecraft, and along with all other interesting elements, one deserving your attention the most would be the fact that it’s the first time a moon mission will have a virtual assistant. The assistant we are referring to here is Callisto, which is basically an interactive tablet equipped with reconfigured versions of Amazon Alexa and Cisco’s teleconferencing platform, WebEx. By using these advanced technologies, NASA will hope to gain a view of whether virtual assistants can actually help in the space setting.

Apart from Cisco and Amazon, Lockheed, manufacturer of Orion capsules, is another company involved in the mission. After coining the idea three years ago, Lockheed is now also bearing the costs behind this mission.

“[We] envision a future in which astronauts could turn to an onboard artificial intelligence, for information and for assistance and ultimately for companionship,” Aaron Rubenson, vice president of Amazon’s Alexa program,

 

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