With the Artemis 3 mission, the NASA for the first time since Apollo 17 bringing people to the moon. But the whole thing should not take place before 2026. A few tests are required beforehand. These include the manned Artemis 2 mission (2023), which does not travel to the moon, and the unmanned one Moon mission Artemis 1 (2022). On board this year’s flight, in addition to various sensors and other devices, Amazon’s voice assistant Alexa will also travel.
Artemis 1: Moon mission with Alexa
Together with the companies Cisco and Lockheed Martin, Amazon is working on the Callisto project. This is a technological demonstration designed to show how Amazon’s Alexa and Cisco’s Webex teleconferencing platform could be used on future manned missions.
The association is also to gain access to NASA’s Deep Space Network. It enables Callisto to receive information, including news and sports results, from Earth. In this way, a future crew could very easily keep up to date with what is happening on the surface of the earth.
“Taken together, these voice interactions can help make life on board the spaceship easier and more efficient,” writes Amazon in a press release. This is especially true if the crew is buckled up during the lunar mission or busy with other tasks.
HAL 9000 or LCARS?
If you are just taking the first pictures of “2001: A Space Odyssey” (1968), that is understandable. But Amazon and NASA have something else in mind. For example, Aaron Rubenson, Vice President of Alexa Everywhere at Amazon, is more likely to introduce himself to LCARS. This is the operating system that first appeared in the sci-fi series “Star Trek: The Next Generation” (1987-1994).
“The Star Trek computer was part of our original inspiration for Alexa, so it’s exciting […] to see our vision of ambient intelligence come to life on board the Orion. We are proud to partner with Lockheed Martin to push the boundaries of speech technology and AI, and we hope that Alexa’s role in the mission will help inspire future scientists, astronauts and engineers who will define this next era in space exploration . “
By the way: With the command “Alexa, take me to the moon”, you should be able to follow the progress of the moon mission in the future.