“Is There Life There, HAL?” –NASA Plans to Install Artificial Intelligence Systems 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 June, 2020, NASA 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. The AI program will start with the 2022/23 ESA ExoMars mission before moving beyond to moons such as Jupiter’s Europa and of Saturn’s Enceladus and Titan.

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