“Is There Life There, HAL?” –NASA Announces Intelligent AI Systems Installed on Probes of Distant Planets

ExoMars Landing Map


In Space Odyssey 2001, HAL 9000, the Heuristically Programmed Algorithmic Computer, consigned the crew commander to his death by refusing to open the pod bay doors. Leaping forward to today, with life hopefully transcending Arthur C. Clarke’s fiction, NASA has announced a visionary step: that intelligent computer systems will be installed on space probes to direct the search for life on distant planets and moons, starting with the 2022/23 ESA ExoMars mission, before moving beyond to moons such as Jupiter’s Europa, and of Saturn’s Enceladus and Titan.