Sat, 21 Sep 2019

An unmanned Soyuz spacecraft carrying Russia's first humanoid robot has failed to dock with the International Space Station (ISS).

A statement from Russia's Roskosmos space agency said the failure to dock on August 24 was because of problems in the docking system.

Roskosmos officials were later quoted as saying a second docking attempt would take place on August 26.

The Russian news agency TASS reported that the Soyuz came as close as 96 meters to the space station before aborting the docking attempt and moving away.

The cause of the problem appeared to stem from the automated rendezvous system called KURS, the U.S. space agency NASA said, adding that nothing was wrong with the Soyuz vessel itself.

Both NASA and Roskosmos said the six-person crew on board the space station were not in any danger.

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 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 Roskosmos 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 Current Time, AFP, dpa, and AP

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

More St Petersburg (Russia) News

Access More

Sign up for St Petersburg News

a daily newsletter full of things to discuss over drinks.and the great thing is that it's on the house!