back to article Alexa and Webex to hitch a ride around the Moon on Artemis I – what could possibly go wrong?

As if NASA's troubled Artemis program didn't have enough to worry about, tech utilising Amazon's Alexa and Cisco's Webex is set to be on board for the first mission around the Moon and back to Earth. Dubbed "Callisto" (after a follower of Artemis in Greek mythology rather than Jupiter's second largest Moon), the system will …

  1. Anonymous Coward


    "One can but hope Rubenson was not referring to the computer's sentient antics in the late Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Emergence".

    I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.

    1. David 132 Silver badge

      Re: Emergence

      What is this Next Generation of which they speak?

      There was only ever one Star Trek series. And as in all things, it offers us a parable for this situation.

      The Ultimate Computer

  2. Chris Gray 1


    Clearly our esteemed editor is not up on Star Trek: Discovery's latest antics. :-) (See Zora)

    1. Sixtiesplastictrektableware

      Re: Discovery (Point Avoider)

      CG1: Yours is the first non-disparaging Trek Disco comment I've ever seen in the wild. Thank you, for that.

      Hope you enjoy Trek Prodigy as well.

      Live a long, peaceful life and prosper.

    2. NoneSuch Silver badge

      Re: Discovery

      "The Star Trek computer was part of our original inspiration for Alexa,"

      Monitoring users and determining what they need through surveillance to generate profit inspired Alexa.

  3. oiseau

    W_T_F ?

    Amazon's Alexa and Cisco's Webex is set to be on board for the first mission around the Moon and back to Earth.

    There are not enough words in the English language to describe just how fucked up this idea is.

    Why would NASA, the people* behind the design and operation of astounding feats such as Voyager 1/2, Moon/Mars rovers, Hubble and Webb telescopes, etc. fall for this utter BS?


    * Probably because they are all retired or dead and now ...


    1. tfewster

      Re: W_T_F ?

      - I get the idea of an AI that can interpret general commands to fit its current situation.

      - I get that using COTS products could be a massive cost saving over developing your own AI and comms protocols.

      But this is such a massive kludge. Why not, say, send an email and cut out the loudspeaker->microphone diversion? (which wouldn't work in a vacuum anyway)

      1. David 132 Silver badge

        Re: W_T_F ?

        cut out the loudspeaker->microphone diversion? (which wouldn't work in a vacuum anyway)

        Well, the obvious solution is to cut off the microphone, cut off the speakers, and solder the mic feed directly to the speaker wires.

        Come on people, it’s rocket science.

      2. Andy The Hat Silver badge

        Re: W_T_F ?

        I'm sorry Dave, which communist channel do you want me to open?

        Alexa I said communications, the bloody communications

        I'm sorry Dave I don't have anything by The Bloody Communards. But here are some similarly bad albums I didn't find for sale on the internet as I'm obviously not connected to it ...


        I'm sorry Dave, according to not-the-Internet you cannot do that with a banana, even in space ...

        1. David 132 Silver badge

          Re: W_T_F ?

          From Youtube I learned that you can do just about anything with a banana - evidence here. (don’t worry, safe for work)

    2. TeeCee Gold badge

      Re: W_T_F ?


      Imagine a picture of a well-stuffed brown envelope with an Amazon logo on it.

      That's why.

  4. This post has been deleted by its author

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How far's the Moon now?

    Did you mean Far side of the Moon? *starts playing Pink Floyd*

    1. that one in the corner Silver badge

      Suggested listening

      "Travelator (Part 2)" from "The Time Machine"

      "Where are you taking me?" ... "Why keep me in the dark?" ... "Are we there yet?"

  6. Sixtiesplastictrektableware

    Which Trek TOS episode had the computer responding to Kirk with "yes, dear"?

    Gimme an Ultimate Computer scenario any day of the week.

  7. Precordial thump Silver badge

    mediaeval units, please

    NASA will be in trouble if, as the image shows, Alexa persists in miles, pounds and Fahrenheit.

    Can see it now, Artemis 1 lost with its booster burning to depletion because Alexa failed a pounds-to-kilograms conversion. Good thing they're not going to Mars.

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