CIMON will serve as Gerst's right-hand man during his Horizons mission, where the ESA astronaut will carry out an array of science experiments, like measuring muscle retention during spaceflight, testing astronauts' perception of time, and designing plasma devices that disinfect wounds. The Crew Interactive Mobile CompanioN (CIMON) is designed to help astronauts with their jobs and to create a feeling of talking to a crew mate, and playing with a Rubik cube.
The spacecraft should arrive at the ISS around 5:30 a.m. on Monday, July 2, and splash down in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of California in early-to-mid August.
Interaction between astronauts on the Horizons mission aboard the ISS will be used by Airbus and IBM to continue to improve how CIMON operates and assists humans in space.
"We have ignition and liftoff!"
The launch is scheduled for 2:42 a.m.
CIMON is capable of nodding in response to questions and will be able to zoom up to astronauts when being called by its name. "And while you're speaking, you can tell you're being understood", said Bret Greenstein with IBM.
Astronauts repaired the arm's current hand - which was growing arthritic after 17 years of use - during a series of spacewalks in recent months.
Airbus says with CIMON, crew members can do more than just work through a schematic view of prescribed checklists and procedures; they can also engage with their assistant.
ECOSTRESS will use a space-based measurement of plant change and response to water access to provide potential approaches to agricultural water management.
SpaceX launched Friday a spacecraft that contains equipment NASA intends to aid activities onboard the International Space Station, including research on artificial intelligence, cellular biology and Earth science. Dragon separated from Falcon 9s second stage about nine minutes and thirty seconds after liftoff and is on its way to the International Space Station, now expected to arrive early on the morning of July 2nd.