Orion Spaceship Powers Up Callisto, Amazon Alexa Is Now in Space

Callisto comms hardware now active on Orion 7 photos
Photo: Lockheed Martin
Callisto comms hardware on Orion spaceshipCallisto comms hardware on Orion spaceshipCallisto comms hardware on Orion spaceshipCallisto comms hardware on Orion spaceshipCallisto comms hardware on Orion spaceshipCallisto comms hardware on Orion spaceship
Now that the biggest hurdle in the start of the Artemis Moon exploration program, the launch, is out of the way, NASA and partner engineers can start focusing on the technologies sent up with Artemis I for testing purposes. Among them, something called Callisto.
The technology was cooked up in the laboratories of Lockheed Martin. It’s a custom-built tablet-sized device equipped with speakers, microphones and a camera meant to keep future astronauts in the loop with what’s going on with the spacecraft, and allow them to talk back home. Oh, and it runs Amazon’s Alexa virtual audio assistant and Cisco’s Webex communications tool.

Callisto is supposed to give astronauts all the info they need in a single place, displaying stuff like external and cabin temperature, amount of propellant left, the distance to the Moon and the Earth, the speed of the spacecraft, and elapsed mission time.

Alexa runs on this thing without an internet connection, thanks to a yet undisclosed technology, while Webex works thanks to NASA's Deep Space Network (DSN).

A few hours ago, NASA said it managed to activate the Callisto hardware, and it will move to test the voice-activated and video technology in the coming hours and days.

Separately, the last update on Orion’s trip revealed that the spaceship performed a second outbound trajectory burn, and additional images with the optical navigation camera were captured. At the time of writing, Orion is over 170,000 miles (274,000 km) from Earth, and it moves towards the Moon at speeds of a little over 2,000 mph (3,220 kph).

The mission is expected to last a little over 25 days in all, taking the Orion to a maximum distance of 280,000 miles (over 450,000 km) from Earth, 40,000 miles (64,000) km beyond the Moon, and further than any Moon missions so far.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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