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What is the Role of AI in Space Exploration?
From transmitting and analyzing space-related data to drawing actionable insights, AI is making space research and exploration much more efficient.
FREMONT, CA: AI has long been a companion of space research agencies. The history of AI's relationship with space exploration is older than anyone could think. But, the recent breakthroughs and discoveries have resulted in AI gaining momentum in space research. Artificial Intelligence (AI) has made space research and exploration much more efficient. New space missions are turbo-charged by AI as people travel to the moon and other planets. AI will continue to play a vital role in contemporary space exploration as the complexity of space missions rises. Read on to know more about how AI is currently helping the space industry.
Due to the complexity of their research mission, the spacecraft and satellites operating in deep space can generate a massive volume of data. This enormous volume of data must be transmitted to earth during specific windows of opportunity as host planets of space crafts and satellites have different rotations and orbits. The lag of data transfer will depend on the earth’s light-year distance from the host planet, and it can be months or even years. If data transmission is unsuccessful, the data may be permanently lost. AI enables a smart method to manage data transmission from a distant planet to earth. An early step in space exploration is planet condition and environment analysis. Satellites have already collected a large amount of data on this, and images are the primary data source. But the major challenge is to identify and read the right information from the pictures. AI can be a useful tool for solving this problem too.
Another field where AI can help is spacecraft and satellite motion control. Each control action for spaceships or satellites needs processing location information in a short timeframe. As space missions have become increasingly frequent and sophisticated, there will be a growing demand for fast and self-adjusting AI-based navigation capabilities. This could include orbit adjustment, autonomous navigation, and space station docking.
It is the technology that has enabled humans to explore unexplored parts of the universe. By only using AI algorithms, spacecraft of the future allows space researchers to explore more.