“Researchers at the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science and JAXA, Japan’s aerospace organization, are experimenting with artificial intelligence (AI) to make rocket launches smoother and less expensive. A safe and reliable AI system could take over some on-the-fly control of the rocket’s guidance and operations.
JAXA professor Yasuhiro Morita is the project manager for the Epsilon rocket, which will take major steps toward autonomy over the next few years. The Epsilon launch vehicle’s sensors will form an electronic brain that can issue commands to the rocket’s body. Morita says the AI system will be used to determine the cause of malfunctions and attempt to correct them. He also notes that the Epsilon rocket could be managed by a few people using laptops, compared to other rockets used today that often require dozens of workers to launch.
The first Epsilon launch is estimated to cost about $46.4 million, about 25 percent less than the cost of an average rocket launch today. The Epsilon rocket also will feature onboard software that can devise its own plans for completing tasks established by human operators.”
Source: ACM Technews via http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42158703/ns/technology_and_science-tech_and_gadgets/
Photo Credit: TNSC Yoshinobu Launch Complex by naritama / FlickR