Introduction: Brief Analyses of the methods & implementations of ISRO & SpaceX in terms of AI in space.
The study aims at understanding of certain limitations faced by us as humans with placing & utilization of AI in terms of Space exploration, research &/or other such projects & the laws concerned therein.
A doctrinal methodology is adhered to.
AI has wide ranging applications in space industry and is often utilised for a variety of purposes such as space debris monitoring, making automated decisions like that of the Mars rover, weather surveillance etc. It has been frequently used in space as it is a service-based industry.
Currently AI is used in space activities in two ways -
1. Autonomous Space Objects: These are autonomous bodies, robots, satellite construction and etc. that not only analyses data but also conduct activities that would not be possible for humans such as collecting data, probes, preserving space assets, Active Debris Removal (ADR)
2. Analysis of the data collected such as conducting a predictive analysis from very high satellite imagery, geospatial analysis, debris monitoring, these large datasets can also be stored via space cloud computing i.e., where data is stored on space-based assets.
The primary concerns when it comes to AI in space are privacy issues such as citizen tracking, fake imagery, biased automatic decision making etc. And liability issues such as damages caused by autonomous spacecrafts for e.g., collisions, malware etc. These concerns have been exacerbated and the confidentiality of the information that has been given is now on the minds of the people.
Artificial Intelligence based technologies are able to handle a lot of structured and unstructured datasets and are able to derive information out of them, that may have been missed by a human and prone to human errors, the possibility of missing critical and relevant information has necessitated the use of technology-based solutions that ease this derivation of information. Sensors from outer space collect massive spatial data, the storage and analytical costs of which are very high and it would be really difficult to analyze the same without any help.
Case Study of ISRO
ISRO has not been behind the world in utilizing AI based technology for its missions. Chandrayaan II delivered Pragyan a solar powered vehicle that would explore the lunar surface, it consisted of LIBS (Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscope) to identify elements present near the landing site and APIXS (Alpha Particle Induced X-ray Spectroscope) to inspect the composition of the elements identified by LIBS near the landing site.
The rover could communicate with the lander utilizing motion technology to help maneuver the rover and complete its landing. It also comprised AI algorithms that could identify the mineral and determine its composition. The rover by the help of Artificial Intelligence could also determine any faint traces of water on the lunar surface. Through the Artificial Intelligence system, the rover could send the pictures of the lunar surface back to ISRO where they could be analyzed and used for research.
It has also developed a humanoid robot called Vyom-mitra literally translated to Space Friend. In order to conduct long duration crew flight while decreasing human risks and errors. The robot would utilize Artificial Intelligence tools to carry out various procedures like operate heavy machinery and facial recognition. Though initially it is expected to carry out solo missions the aim is to make it suitable as a fellow crewmate a bit similar to C3P0 or TARS from interstellar. The robot would also contain various sensors such as gravitational de-acceleration, heat noise etc. that would be used to make long duration space flight as comfortable for humans as possible. These features would be crucial to support life on Environment Control and Life Support Systems like Gaganyaan where the robot is expected to support the crew members. In its recent report on Research Areas in Space it has also outlined its aim to develop vyomnoids that would support the crew members and help in the mission by way of Artificial Intelligence algorithms.
ISRO has also designed and developed National Remote Sensing Centre to detect deforestation and combat it. It detects small scale changes in forest covers to detect deforestation and increase the frequency of reporting such changes, it has utilized this remote sensing technology to increase the time it would take to analyze such changes and their subsequent reporting from a year to one month. It has also developed Image Processing and Pattern Recognition (IIRS) by way of Artificial Neural Networks and deep learning programs in cases of earth observation.
Case Study of SpaceX
SpaceX has gained a lot of prominence in the commercial sector for its space missions and in its mission, Dragon is piloted by a sophisticated Artificial Intelligence system that guides the rocket to the International Space Station. This mission also included the first of a kind robot in space called SIMON who can use facial recognition and orient itself and hover over to the geophysicist Gerst. It has been described as a flying brain. Though it has a limited programming as of now, it can converse and provide technical support but not much as of now. Its aim is to assist the crew members in performing scientific experiments that are needed to be carried out. It has been described to be similar to an Alexa for space.
It has also started to use AI systems to avoid collisions out in space. In its Starlink launch where it launched 60 satellites where most of them would be in the Lower Earth Orbit that has been filled with space debris, When SpaceX would receive a possible conjunction alert they would send the information to the satellites that would conduct evasive maneuvers by way of its electric thrusters thus avoiding collision with any possible space debris.
It's indeed wonderful how the concepts of 'Vyom-mitra' & 'Vyomanoids' have been conceded, & it shall be yet more wonderful to be able to experience the exhibition of the facilities & opportunities such innovations shall open up the doors to for India.
ISROs focus upon not only major concerns such as space exploration but a concern on the Earth & the environment proves how much India cares about its flora & shall prove to undoubtedly be a great endeavor.
Space Debris Detection would as well undoubtedly prove to be an incredible endeavor, minimizing the risk to human life for astronauts.
The foci on robotic life-forms with purposes of assisting space exploration & life in space is very well though of, & highly innovative. However, it's of the utmost importance that the legal implications ranging from privacy to autonomy be considered. So that no infringements can occur & policies/regulations can be effectively framed.
Name of Author: Nalin Malhotra.
Date of Publication: 08 April, 2021.
Indicative Code: ILAIL-0000-CS-08-04-2021-00002
Style of Case Study: Diverse; Influential;
 Goodwin, S.: Data rich, information poor (drip) syndrome: is there a treatment? Radiology management 18(3) (1996) 45–49.  https://towardsdatascience.com/artificial-intelligence-for-internal-audit-and-risk-management-94e509129d49#2402  P. Soille, S. Loekken, and S. Albani (Eds.) Proc. of the 2019 conference on Big Data from Space (BIDS 2019), EUR 29660 EN, Publications Office of the European Union,Luxembourg 2019 https://www.bigdatafromspace2019.org/QuickEventWebsitePortal/2019-conference-on-big-data-from-space-bids19/bids-2019  https://www.financialexpress.com/lifestyle/science/isro-gaganyaan-vyomamitra-vyomnauts-lady-robot-space-mission/1832947/  https://www.isro.gov.in/sites/default/files/article-files/research-and-academia-interface/supported-areas-of-research/research_areas_in_space.pdf  https://developer-shubham-rasal.medium.com/how-isro-uses-machine-learning-25be23430713  https://www.dexlabanalytics.com/blog/how-ai-powers-space-missions-like-those-of-spacexs-a-study  https://www.firstpost.com/tech/science/ai-robot-flying-brain-blasts-off-towards-iss-aboard-spacex-spacecraft-4643821.html  https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2018/06/29/spacex-is-flying-an-artificially-intelligent-robot-named-cimon-to-the-international-space-station/