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Humanoid robot docks in spacecraft at ISS

August 27, 2019

The robot named Fedor will test skills and aid astronauts on the International Space Station. A previous attempt to dock the Soyuz spacecraft had failed over the weekend.

Fedor, Russia's life-size humanoid robot, prior to being sent to the International Space Station
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/AP/Roscosmos

An unmanned space capsule carrying Russia's first humanoid robot successfully docked at the International Space Station (ISS) on Tuesday.

The Soyuz MS-14 had previously failed to dock on its first attempt over the weekend.

Read more: From Apollo 11 to the new space race 

The life-size robot Fedor, short for Final Experimental Demonstration Object Research, mimics human movements and has elements of artificial intelligence.

The robot will assist six astronauts onboard the ISS and stay until September 7.

The spacecraft is also carrying 670 kilograms (1,477 pounds) of scientific equipment and other goods to support life on the ISS.

The craft blasted off Thursday from Russia's Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan but failed to dock at the space station Saturday.

Read more: NASA twin study: Genes change in space

NASA said the docking problem had to do with an automated rendezvous system and not the Soyuz spacecraft.

The Russian android is not the first humanoid robot to travel to the ISS. In 2011, NASA sent up Robonaut 2, which stayed there for several years, returning to Earth last year because of technical problems. Japan also sent a 34-centimeter (13.4 inches) tall robot called Kirobo along with the station's first Japanese commander.

cw/rc (AFP, dpa, Reuters)

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