Amazon Alexa Joins NASA Artemis Mission Crew
- Lisa Taff
- 14 Jan 2022
We couldn’t even think about something like this, but Amazon Alexa is actually going to the Moon! The popular virtual assistant was merged with Cisco Webex video conferencing software on the basis of a special operating system called Callisto to join the next Moon landing mission crew.
The New Old
Moon missions in the 1960s and 1970s used huge computers that were hundreds of times less powerful than any smartwatch on the market today. Another exciting fact is that the next Moon mission spaceship will use computers with processors from 2002, which are probably still less powerful than smartwatch! All because it took many years to test and improve these processors against extreme temperatures and space radiation. Modern processors are simply not reliable enough for such purposes.
What is more interesting, Amazon created a special version of Alexa that can work on those old processors under Lockheed Martin’s Callisto operating system. This version of the virtual assistant is taught to work both online and autonomously and ignore any noises from engines and space. Alexa will be used to initiate various processes from special voice commands and help astronauts communicate with the base on Earth.
Testing Starts Soon
While the manned Moon mission is scheduled for 2024-2025, the experimental unmanned missions will start in March 2022 to test how well Alexa works in real-life space situations. The goal is to teach Alexa to perform a set of non-critical commands to make the work of astronauts easier. It’s a huge breakthrough for a private company, even such a huge one! What exactly do you think Alexa will do on the spaceship? What commands will it know? Tell us what you think in the comments and share the news with friends.