Space travel, exploration and observations involve some of the most complex and dangerous scientific and technological operations ever conducted. This means that artificial intelligence (AI) tends to cause problems that have proven to be very helpful.
For this reason, astronauts, scientists, and others whose job it is to map and explore the ultimate frontier are increasingly relying on machine learning (ML) to tackle the mundane and extraordinary challenges they face. I’m paying attention to
Here are some of the most interesting and exciting uses of AI in space, from piloting rockets in space, to studying the surface of distant planets, to measuring the size of the universe, to calculating the orbits of celestial bodies. .
Use AI during spacecraft takeoff and landing to automate engine operations and manage functions such as landing gear deployment.This helps optimize fuel usage
SpaceX is AI autopilot A system that allows the Falcon 9 craft to perform autonomous operations, such as docking with the International Space Station (ISS), which is responsible for NASA’s cargo delivery. The system calculates a rocket’s trajectory through space, taking into account fuel usage, atmospheric interference, and “sloshing” by liquids in the engine.
Simon 2 is an Airbus-designed robot that can be thought of as a mobile Amazon Alexa-style virtual assistant for astronauts in space. Built using IBM’s Watson AI system, it uses fans to navigate inside the spacecraft and act as a hands-free information database, computer and camera. The emotional state of the astronaut can also be assessed by analyzing the stress level of the voice.
AI is leverage Mission planners at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory model and evaluate a wide range of mission parameters to understand the possible outcomes of different choices and courses of action. These experiments will be used to inform future spacecraft design and engineering work. The data collected will also be used for future planning of a number of hypothetical future missions, including landings on Europa, the icy moon that orbits Venus and Jupiter.
SpaceX uses AI algorithms to prevent satellites from colliding with other orbital or transitional objects in space. Their autonomous navigation system allows them to detect nearby hazards in real time and take evasive action by adjusting their satellite speed and orbit.
The British Space Agency has also developed an autonomous system that allows its spacecraft and satellites to take autonomous actions to avoid space debris. in 2025 schedule We will take this work further by launching an autonomous spacecraft with a mission to capture and clean up space debris.
A Mars rover is a robot that can explore the surface of Mars and transmit data to Earth for analysis and learning from it. These robots are able to navigate terrain autonomously thanks to ML algorithms, avoiding craters and falls that can damage or incapacitate them. Thanks to this, NASA has so far accidental loss of another Rover, as happened with the Spirit in 2011.
In recent years, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory has used image recognition tools to study photographs captured by surface robots such as the Mars Rovers to classify terrain features.this too one crater on the surface of Mars, which is only 4 meters in diameter
The Rover Perseverance is equipped with a computer vision system. Aegis Different types of rocks on the surface of planets can be detected and classified, allowing us to learn more about the composition of the planet.
You can even participate in the training of the AI algorithms used by Mars rovers from your own home.of AI4 Mars The initiative called on users to download a tool that could label terrain features to improve the autonomous guidance system aboard the Curiosity rover.
So far, most surface exploration has been done on wheels, but the European Space Agency is experimenting with the use of wheels. “Hopper” Robot You can use your feet to move and jump. AI algorithms coordinate the movement and balance of her four legs on the robot. It can be used to explore previously unnavigable lunar locations, such as the mountainous Aristarchus Plateau.
Use AI to explore the lunar surface and identify the best fit. potential landing site For future manned missions. This will ensure that astronauts know more about the Tawny landing environment that Neil Armstrong and others have done during previous visits.
Astronomers use AI mapping the universe It recognizes patterns in star clusters that form distant nebulae and classifies other features detected in deep space.
One example is NASA’s Kepler telescope, which has been used to identify likely locations on Earth. planet By analyzing the dips in the light emitted by the stars, we can show that planets are passing between them.
AI is also used to predict the behavior of stars and galaxies, helping us understand where cosmic events such as supernovae are likely to occur.
Dozens of black holes have been detected using time-series analysis of ripples. gravitational waves Caused by these mysterious objects colliding with neutron stars.
AI technology is not only used to look down on the earth, but also to see space.a project known as Autonomous Science Craft Experiment In 2004, it was connected to the Earth Observation Satellite-1, enabling it to autonomously classify images taken by the camera. This allowed us to determine which images were worth sending back to Earth using our precious bandwidth.
of SETI@Home projectoperated by the University of California, Berkeley, AI algorithms We search for signs of intelligent extraterrestrial life in the vast amount of radio telescope data collected from space. Although the project has stopped sending new data for volunteers to investigate, the vast amount of data that makes up the project’s findings has yet to be analyzed. The truth may still be out there!
We used AI to create the most accurate image of a black hole ever.Roger Penrose, Reinhard Genzel, Andrea Ghez won the nobel prize In 2020, he was recognized for creating a realistic image of the supermassive black hole at the center of galaxy M 87.
And far from stopping there, science is looking beyond the event horizon to use AI to reveal what lies. inside a black holeThis work also includes quantum computing, which could help physicists solve one of their biggest problems. It is to integrate Einstein’s general theory of relativity with the standard model of particle physics.
It is even hoped that AI will measure the universe and help us better understand its size and shape. research A study performed on Japanese astronomical data using an AI supercomputer successfully created a simulated map that matches the universe we already know exists. means that the speed of light allows us to predict features of the universe beyond the limits of what we can currently see (the observable universe).