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SpaceX delivers ice cream, mice, AI robot to space station

July 2, 2018

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — A SpaceX shipment has arrived at the International Space Station, bearing berries and ice cream, mice and the first orbiting robot with artificial intelligence.

The Dragon capsule reached the station Monday, three days after launching from Florida. Station astronauts used a large mechanical arm to grab the Dragon.

The nearly 6,000-pound (2,700-kilogram) delivery includes genetically identical mice for a study of gut bacteria, and the round robot Cimon (pronounced Simon). Slightly bigger than a basketball, the AI robot from the Germany Space Agency is meant to assist German astronaut Alexander Gerst with science experiments. Cimon’s brain will constantly be updated by IBM, so its intelligence — and role — keep growing.

There’s also super-caffeinated coffee aboard the Dragon, to go with the fresh blueberries and ice cream.

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