The EO-1 was designed to test cutting-edge satellite tech, and the team was only supposed to use the AI for six months. However, they were so successful that they “did it for more than 12 years.” During that span of time, ASE ordered the satellite to map active lava flows, monitor methane leaks and to keep an eye on reforestation efforts in the Amazon, among many other tasks.
NASA will shut down EO-1 and ASE by the end of March, but everything they’ve accomplished won’t go to waste. They’ve managed to convince astronomers that AIs will make it possible for spacecraft to act as soon as an event takes place. As ASE lead scientist Ashley Davies said, it will allow probes to “capture valuable science data that would otherwise be lost.”