top of page

A New Era Of Space Tech Is Launched: Autonomous AI In The NASA & Spacex Dragon

On Saturday, May 30, at approximately 3:22 pm ET in the afternoon, Spacex made history by launching its first private commercial space flight; “Dragon”. The Dragon rocket carried two NASA astronauts, Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, to the ISS.


Photo Courtesy Of Business Insider https://www.businessinsider.com/why-spacex-astronaut-launch-nasa-is-important-2020-5


After launching from Florida’s Space Coast at the NASA Kennedy Space Center compound, both men are the first humans to fly a commercial spacecraft flight. The next day (Sunday, May 31) after traveling around the world in orbit, the crew of the autonomous Dragon vessel were welcomed onto the ISS.

Photo Courtesy Of CBC News https://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/spacex-space-station-1.5593068


From this success moving forward, Spacex hopes to normalize space travel so that any human can go from the earth to the moon and beyond. What is most exciting about this feat is the technology used to accomplish the autonomous mission.


AUTONOMOUS DOCKING & UNDOCKING

The Crew Dragon, overall, is an autonomous vehicle with computer systems performing docking and undocking measures. With the help of sensors and AI computer vision technology, a computer is able to dock the Dragon vehicle to the ISS without a pilot having to manually control it.

Computer Vision is the ability for computers to process and identify objects seen in images or videos, and is a form of AI that uses pattern recognition. The computer is fed visual data through the form of images or video and learns to diffinerate patterns from the data. Definition, Computer Vision #AI

From camera images, the Dragon crew vehicle was able to tell how many meters remained until the capsule connected to the ISS through the use of sensors and computer identification technology.


A computer navigation system also guided the Dragon crew vehicle to the ISS, and charted the course to destination. Additionally impressive, the user interface tech of touch screens were used by astronauts Bob and Doug to control the capsule.


TECHNOLOGICAL BENEFITS

There are many obvious benefits to employing autonomy for space travel, as well as convenient UI tools such as touchscreen controls. Autonomy is, economically speaking, cost effective for space programs and partnering companies because of its consistency and precision. Employing a computer to perform the manual tasks of a human results in less errors (if the controls guiding the computer are correct) and improved safety for passengers on the spacecraft.


Touchscreen controls inside of the spacecraft also allow for easier navigation and movement. They are convenient in the display of important information that humans aboard the craft will need during the journey, such as showing the charted course, targeting, available functions, and etc. Those with impaired vision or disabilities could also access the controls more effectively with a touchscreen.


CONCLUSION

Not long ago, the first U.S. rocket was launched into space using less technology than a standard iphone. Now today, when we look at how AI and thousands of computers are used to create highly sophisticated spacecraft such as the Dragon crew, it is an unbelievable achievement! Silicon AI & Cybersecurity congratulates Spacex and NASA for this remarkable feat; ushering in a new era of technology in space.


SOURCES

bottom of page