What you need to know
- Amazon is joining hands with Lockheed Martin to send Alexa to space.
- Alexa will be sent to space as part of Callisto, a tech demonstration on NASA's Artemis I mission.
- Callisto, which is embedded into the Orion spacecraft, has been built in collaboration with engineers from Amazon, Lockheed Martin, and Cisco.
Amazon and Lockheed Martin have come together to send Alexa to space as part of NASA's upcoming Artemis I mission. As many of you might be aware, NASA aims to land the first woman and the first person of color on the Moon with Artemis missions.
Artemis I will also be the test of NASA's deep space exploration systems, including the new Space Launch System rocket and the Orion spacecraft. Alexa is one of the several new technologies that NASA will test as part of the uncrewed Artemis I mission. Amazon says the integration will "help those involved explore how ambient intelligence can assist astronauts on future missions."
Amazon's engineers have worked together with Lockheed Martin to integrate the voice assistant into the Callisto payload. While the space-grade hardware with Alexa built-in has been designed by Lockheed Martin, Amazon has developed the acoustic and audio processing software to enable far-field voice interactions with Alexa in space.
Callisto has been equipped with Amazon's Local Voice Control technology, which enables the Assistant to work in areas with limited or no connectivity. Amazon has combined Alexa's AI with local processing onboard the Orion to bypass the latency in sending information from the Moon to Earth and back.
Alexa will have access to real-time telemetry data on Orion, allowing it to respond to missions-specific questions such as "Alexa, how fast is Orion traveling?" or "Alexa, what's the temperature in the cabin?" Additionally, Alexa will also process requests to control the in-cabin lighting. Alexa engineers plan to use what they learn from the mission to make the voice assistant work better for users on Earth.
Alexa will provide users with videos and imagery from the mission, reminders about key mission milestones, telemetry data from the Orion, as well as videos of virtual crew interactions from Johnson Space Center. A preview of these experiences is now available across Alexa-enabled devices. If you wish to set up reminders for the upcoming mission, just say, "Alexa, take me to the moon."
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