Thursday 19 September 2019

Russian robot 'Fedor' ready to lend a hand on space station

High flyer: Fedor on his way to the International Space Station after blasting off on a two-week mission to support the crew and test his skills. Photo: reuters
High flyer: Fedor on his way to the International Space Station after blasting off on a two-week mission to support the crew and test his skills. Photo: reuters

Gabrielle Tátrault-Farber

A Russian humanoid robot was making its way to the International Space Station (ISS) after blasting off yesterday on a two-week mission to support the crew and test his skills.

Known as Fedor, which stands for Final Experimental Demonstration Object Research, the Skybot F-850 is the first humanoid robot to be sent to space by Russia.

Nasa sent humanoid robot Robonaut 2 to space in 2011 to work in hazardous environments.

"The robot's main purpose is to be used in operations that are especially dangerous for humans on board spacecraft and in outer space," Russian space agency Roscosmos said after the launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

The ISS is a joint project of the space agencies of the United States, Russia, Europe, Japan and Canada.

Travelling in an unmanned Soyuz MS-14 spacecraft, Fedor is expected to dock at the ISS tomorrow.

He will arrive with 660kg of cargo including medical supplies and food rations for the crew waiting at the station, Nasa said.

Fedor - who is the size of an adult and can emulate movements of the human body - has apparently embraced his mission, describing himself as "an assistant to the ISS crew" on his Twitter page, which has 4,600 followers.

"Everything is normal," a tweet posted on his account said a few hours into his flight.

Irish Independent

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