Science Europe Russia Russian capsule carrying robot fails space station docking

Katie Ramirez
August 24, 2019

Fedor blasted off Thursday in a Soyuz MS-14 spacecraft from Russia's Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and was to stay on the ISS until September 7 learning to assist astronauts in the space station.

Russia's Soyuz MS-14 spacecraft will make another attempt to dock at the International Space Station (ISS) in the early hours of Monday, Vladimir Solovyov, the head of the control center of the Russian segment of the ISS, said on Saturday.

A Russian humanoid robot was making its way to the International Space Station (ISS) after blasting off on a two-week mission to support the crew and test his skills.

"The craft was unable to lock onto its target at the station", and "backed a safe distance away from the orbital complex while the Russian flight controllers assess the next steps", NASA said.

"Russian flight controllers have indicated the next earliest docking attempt could be Monday morning", NASA said.

The Soyuz MS-14/60S spacecraft was launched Wednesday night USA time from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

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The spacecraft is now 96 meters away from the station and officials plan to attempt docking again on Monday morning, RIA reported, citing Russia's flight control center.

"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.

Perhaps Fedor's most important job is already over: He's launched into space aboard an upgraded version of Russia's storied Soyuz rocket to serve as a test dummy of sorts. Recent reports say that NASA had also sent a "Humanoid Robot-2" back in 2011. In 2017, a Russian official posted a video on his Facebook page that showed a Fedor robot it being worked on by the Russian Foundation for Advanced Research Projects. On Saturday, Russia's space agency Roskosmos showed a live feed of what was expected to be the final stage of the journey.

A Russian spacecraft vaulted into Earth's orbit this week with a lone passenger: A life-sized, artificially intelligent, humanoid robot by the name of Fedor.

It is six foot tall and weighs 233 pounds when not carrying extra cargo.

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