Russia unveils robot for space missions

26 May 2011
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Russia has built an android -- a robot resembling a human being -- to work in orbit. The robot, S-400, will be Russia's first space robot in more than two decades, the Izvestia daily said.

It can perform simple tasks such as screwing bolts and searching the spacecraft for damage.

The robot will be sent to the International Space Station (ISS) within two years' time, and will also be joining future missions to the Moon and Mars, the paper said.

Cosmonaut Sergei Avdeyev said S-400's trip to the ISS will be a "test" before "more interesting tasks". Oleg Saprykin, an official at Russia's space agency Roscosmos, said S-400 was the country's "first step towards a robot cosmonaut". "Manipulators were designed for (Soviet space shuttle) Buran and the Mir space station, but they did not get into space in the end," Saprykin said.

The US has already launched an android, Robonaut, to the ISS. Japan and Germany are also planning to send androids in space.

(c) NDTV
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