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VERSES and NASA partner to pursue standards for space industry

EP&T Magazine   

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NASA’s JPL joins Genius beta program to explore interoperability and governance infrastructure for global space economy

VERSES AI Inc., a cognitive computing company specializing in next-generation intelligent software systems, welcomes National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) to the Beta program of its Intelligence-as-a-Service platform, Genius.

NASA seeks to advance international and interagency collaboration on space exploration efforts through technology and policy standards. NASA, JPL and many other stakeholders in the new “space race” have a vested interest in standardizing infrastructure and supporting the space economy, which Morgan Stanley estimates may grow to $1 Trillion by 2040.

Source: NASA – JPL

The international space agency community is actively seeking to develop standards for space exploration. For example, many countries have recently announced their intention to return to the moon. To ensure safety and collaboration, in 2020, NASA published the Artemis Accords, a non-binding multilateral arrangement between thirty-two world governments and one territory participating in NASA’s Artemis space program, which aims to. return humans to the moon by 2025, establish a permanent presence on the moon, and ultimately expand space exploration to Mars and beyond. The Accords set out to define space rules and laws governing various activities, from exploiting natural resources on the moon, comets and asteroids to governments’ ability to protect access to lunar bases or mining zones. PWC estimates that the lunar economy will reach $170B by 2040. In addition to governance considerations, many technical specifications must be developed, including power distribution, communications, positioning, navigation and timing, lunar surface surveying, lunar satellite networks for guidance and communications, and cislunar space traffic control. Interoperability is central to the success of the global space economy.

“Interoperability of systems is critical to ensure safe and robust space exploration. Therefore, the Artemis Accords call for partner nations to utilize open international standards, develop new standards when necessary, and strive to support interoperability to the greatest extent practical,” says NASA.


“We believe that interoperability, knowledge sharing, transparency and accountability are prerequisites for collaboration in space and is precisely the kind of application that Genius is uniquely designed to enable,” said VERSES CTO, Jason Fox. Genius is built on the open standards designed by the Spatial Web Foundation being developed within the IEEE P2874 Spatial Web, Architecture and Governance Working Group. IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) is the world’s largest standards development organization (SDO) and works with many other SDOs and government agencies involved in space exploration. The standards have been successfully deployed in Flying Forward 2020, a European Commission program chartered with defining governance systems for autonomous drones across five European cities.

In a similar fashion, NASA, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and John Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), among others, are seeking to develop a civil lunar infrastructure that unifies other siloed efforts to foster shareable, scalable systems that interoperate. Genius is the only system based on these open standards that is designed specifically to foster this kind of interoperability and governance on Earth, the Moon, Mars, and beyond.


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