The lifesize robot is due to stay on the International Space Station until September 7, learning to assist astronauts there. Photo: AFP
An unmanned spacecraft carrying Russia’s first humanoid robot to be sent into orbit successfully docked at the International Space Station on Tuesday, following a failed attempt over the weekend, Moscow’s space agency said.
The lifesize robot called Fedor copies human movements and can help astronauts carry out tasks remotely.
“Contact confirmed, capture confirmed,” a NASA commentator announced, while a statement on the website of Russian space agency Roscosmos also said the Soyuz MS-14 craft had managed to dock.
On NASA TV, which broadcast the event, the commentator praised the vessel’s “flawless approach to the ISS”.
“Second time was a charm… the crew is up to seven,” he said, referring to the six humans already aboard the space station.
The craft blasted off Thursday from a Russian spaceport in southern Kazakhstan and Fedor is due to stay on the ISS until September 7, learning to assist astronauts there.
“Let’s go. Let’s go,” the robot was heard saying during the launch, repeating the phrase used by the first man in space Yuri Gagarin.
Soyuz ships are normally manned on such trips, but this time no humans were travelling in order to test a new emergency rescue system.
The MS-14 was carrying 670 kilogrammes (100 stone) of dry cargo including “scientific and medical equipment, components for the life-support system, as well as containers with food, medicines and personal hygiene products for crew members”, Roscosmos said.—AFP