NASA Is Launching Amazon’s Alexa Into Outer Space

Alexa will take off in early 2022.

Tech
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Sometime in early 2022, NASA will be taking off with Amazon’s Alexa in tow. The announcement comes from Amazon and Lockheed Martin, who have teamed up for a technology demonstration called Callisto that will take place on NASA’s Orion spacecraft during its Artemis I mission.

During the mission, which aims to work towards eventually landing the first woman and the first person of color on the Moon, the companies will test technology that could potentially be utilized on future ventures into space. In its announcement, Amazon said that the integration of Alexa into the spacecraft will explore how Artificial Intelligence can assist astronauts in their work.

In order for Alexa to be able to withstand the launch and space’s radiation levels, Lockheed Martin designed space-grade hardware with Alexa built-in to it. It’s also equipped with voice control technology that allows the device to function without WiFi connectivity.

The Callisto team has invited students, teachers and figures in the space community to participate in the mission as virtual crew members via interaction with Alexa. Recordings of these interactions will be broadcast across digital channels.

“The Star Trek computer was part of our original inspiration for Alexa, so it’s exciting and humbling to see our vision for ambient intelligence come to life on board Orion,” said Aaron Rubenson, vice president of Alexa Everywhere at Amazon.

“We’re proud to be working with Lockheed Martin to push the limits of voice technology and AI, and we hope Alexa’s role in the mission helps inspire future scientists, astronauts, and engineers who will define this next era of space exploration.”

In other tech news, Instagram has begun testing a new chronological feed.

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