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Aye, Robot: Capsule Carrying Russia's Humanoid FEDOR Finally Docks At ISS

The FEDOR robot is seen during tests at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan in July.
The FEDOR robot is seen during tests at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan in July.

A second attempt to dock a Russian Soyuz spacecraft carrying a Russian humanoid robot to the International Space Station (ISS) has been successful.

“While the spacecraft were flying about 250 miles [400 kilometers] above Eastern Mongolia, an uncrewed Russian Soyuz spacecraft arrived and docked” at the ISS at 03:00 GMT on August 27, NASA said in a blog.

"Docking is registered," a commentator at Roscosmos’s mission control center in Korolyov, in the Moscow region, said, according to TASS news agency.

The Soyuz MS-14 is carrying FEDOR, an experimental Russian robot, as well as supplies, following a failed docking attempt on August 24.

The ISS port where the Soyuz MS-14 docked was freed before midnight on August 25 by a three-man crew aboard a Soyuz MS-13.

The humanoid robot is scheduled to stay at the space laboratory until September 7 as it learns how to assist astronauts at the ISS.

Russia hopes that future models of FEDOR, an acronym for the Final Experimental Demonstration Object Research, will be developed to carry out extravehicular activities.

A General Motors-designed humanoid called Robonaut 2 made it to space in 2011 with the similar purpose of working in high-risk environments. It returned to Earth in 2018 after technical problems.

Japan also sent the Toyota-developed Kirobo robot to space in 2013.

The ISS has been orbiting Earth since 1998 at a speed of 28,000 kilometers per hour.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, and TASS
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