Wed, 18 Sep 2019

Russia has launched an unmanned rocket carrying its first humanoid robot that will spend 10 days learning to work with astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

The FEDOR robot, the abbreviated name for the Final Experimental Demonstration Object Research anthropomorphic mechanism, blasted off to the Earth orbit aboard a Soyuz spacecraft on August 22 from the Baikonur launch site in Kazakhstan.

The spacecraft, which usually has a crew aboard, has only FEDOR aboard this time, and is scheduled to dock with the ISS on August 24.

The robot, with the identification number Skybot F850, repeated the famous phrase by the first human in space, Russian Yury Gagarin, by saying 'Poekhali!' (Let's go!) during the launch.

FEDOR, which is 1.8 meters tall and weighs 160 kilograms, even has Instagram and Twitter accounts.

'The first phase of in-flight experiments went according to the flight plan,' the robot's account tweeted after reaching the Earth orbit.

Officials at Russia's Roskosmos space agency have said that FEDOR will assist ISS crew members with minor tasks, while future models will be developed to carry out extravehicular activities.

With reporting by Rossiyskaya Gazeta, RIA Novosti, AP, TASS, and Interfax

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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