by Staff Writers
Moscow, Russia (RIA Novosti) Aug 24, 2011
The first human-like robot and permanent resident of the International Space Station, Robonaut 2 or R2, has successfully passed its first test, the official Robonaut`s microblog reported on Tuesday.
Robonaut developed jointly by NASA and General Motors was launched on the space shuttle Discovery on February 26. Astronauts Paolo Nespoli and Catherine Coleman unpacked the robot, checked the systems and packed it back in March.
NASA astronaut Mike Fossum switched on Robonaut, which got its first commands from Earth, and was able to open its eyes - cameras. The first view through the robot's eyes was a complicated panel of cables, dials and instruments. Robonaut will make its first movement on September 1.
"Sure wish I could move my head and look around," Robonaut 2 posted in his Twitter. The robot will not actually move until the beginning of September, as its creators continue running tests.
The 140-kg R2 consists of a head and a torso with two super-dexterous arms and two hands. The Robonaut construction cost about $2.5 million. Engineers plan to monitor how the robot operates in weightlessness and whether it can do routine or dangerous jobs.
Robonaut 2's twin remained behind on Earth.
In 2007, General Motors offered new resources and entered into cooperation with NASA through a Space Act Agreement. The team members want to know whether humans and robots can work safely together in close quarters; whether it is aboard a spacecraft or within a production facility.
Source: RIA Novosti
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Russian Progress space freighter set to undock from ISS
Moscow, Russia (RIA Novosti) Aug 23, 2011
Progress M-11M space freighter will undock from the International Space Station (ISS) on Tuesday to be buried in the Pacific after conducting a nine-day scientific mission, Russia's Mission Control said. "Russian members of Expedition 28 [on ISS] have finished loading the spacecraft with waste products from the orbital station," the Mission Control said in a statement. The undocking ... read more
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