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Russia sends humanoid robot Fedor to space station

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Russia sent an unmanned spacecraft, containing a humanoid robot named Fedor, to the International Space Station on Thursday in a test of a new booster rocket.

“The Soyuz 2.1a booster, equipped with a new digital flight control system and upgraded engines, is replacing the Soyuz FG booster that has been used for decades to launch crews into space,’’ the U.S. space agency NASA said in a statement.

The International Space Station used to conduct experiments that could be impossible on Earth, is mostly a collaboration of Russian and U.S. crews and represents one of the strongest ties between the rival great powers.

The robot, Skybot F-850, also known by the male Russian name Fedor, is designed to conduct operations that would be “especially dangerous for a human,’’ Russian space agency, Roscosmos said in a statement.

Following the launch from the Russian-operated Baikonur Cosmodrome in neighbouring Kazakhstan, Fedor sent out a post on Twitter, saying all systems were in order.

The head of Roscosmos, Dmitry Rogozin, tweeted to Fedor to congratulate it for successfully beginning its work.

Fedor replied with a saying typical of Russia’s prided Soviet space programme: “Thank you, comrade’’.

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