Russia on Thursday launched an unmanned rocket carrying a life-size humanoid robot that will spend 10 days learning to assist astronauts on the International Space Station, reports AFP.
Named Fedor, short for Final Experimental Demonstration Object Research, the robot is the first ever sent up by Russia.Fedor blasted off in a Soyuz MS-14 spacecraft at 6:38 am Moscow time (0338 GMT) from Russia’s Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The Soyuz is set to dock with the space station on Saturday and stay till September 7.Soyuz ships are normally manned on such trips, but on Thursday no humans are travelling in order to test a new emergency rescue system.
Instead of cosmonauts, Fedor, also known as Skybot F850, was strapped into a specially adapted pilot’s seat, with a small Russian flag in hand.
“Let’s go. Let’s go,” the robot was heard saying during launch, repeating the famous phrase used by first man in space Yuri Gagarin.
The silvery anthropomorphic robot stands 1.80 metres (5 foot 11 inches) tall and weighs 160 kilogrammes (353 pounds).