First rocket commanded by Russian humanoid robot fails to dock at International Space Station

Android-manned vehicle aborts docking just 96 metres from ISS

Andy Gregory
Saturday 24 August 2019 18:06
Comments
Fedor robot before being loaded into Soyuz capsule to be launched into space from Kazakhastan
Fedor robot before being loaded into Soyuz capsule to be launched into space from Kazakhastan

The first Russian spacecraft to be commanded by a humanoid robot failed to dock at the International Space Station (ISS), Russian news agencies reported.

The Fedor (final experimental demonstration object research) robot was on board a Soyuz spacecraft on a planned two-week mission to support the ISS crew and test its skills.

The rocket was due to arrive in the early hours of Saturday morning, but was forced to abort due to a failure with the automatic docking system, Interfax cited Nasa TV as saying.

The spacecraft is currently 96 metres away from the station and officials plan to attempt docking again on Monday morning, RIA reported, citing Russia‘s flight control centre.

The Skybot F-850 is the first humanoid robot sent to space by Russia and is the first robot to take a human pilot’s place in a Soyuz spacecraft.

Fedor is the size of a human adult and can emulate movements of the human body.

The robot could be heard during the launch saying “let’s go, let’s go”, echoing the famous words of Yuri Gagarin when he became the first man to enter space.

In 2017, Russia’s deputy prime minister Dmitry Rogozin shared videos of Fedor shooting guns at a firing range with deadly accuracy and was forced to clarify the android wasn “not a Terminator”.

Nasa sent humanoid Robonaut 2 to space in 2011 to work in hazardous environments.

The ISS is a joint project of the space agencies of the United States, Russia, Europe, Japan and Canada.

Additional reporting by Reuters

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in