Space Agency


Docking of unmanned Soyuz spacecraft carrying Russia's first humanoid robot to ISS is aborted

The Japan Times

MOSCOW – In a new setback for Moscow, an unmanned spacecraft carrying Russia's first humanoid robot to be sent into orbit failed to dock automatically at the International Space Station on Saturday. "Russian cosmonauts issued a command to abort the automated approach of an uncrewed Russian Soyuz spacecraft to the International Space Station," the U.S. space agency NASA said in a statement. "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 had told the ISS crew it appeared the problem that prevented automated docking was in the station and not the Soyuz spacecraft, NASA added. Moscow news agencies quoted the flight center control as saying the Soyuz craft had to retreat to a "secure distance" from the ISS.


Russia blasts futuristic humanoid robot into orbit to complete 'hazardous' space tasks

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Fedor, which is travelling to the orbital outpost aboard the Soyuz MS-14 spacecraft, was created by Russia's Android Technology Company and the Advanced Research Fund on a technical assignment from Moscow's Emergencies Ministry. Its basic goals include transmitting telemetry data, determining parameters related to the flight safety, including overloads, and carrying out experiments to test the Skybot's operations capabilities on spacewalks outside the ISS. A Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket blasted off from the Gagarin Start launch pad of the Baikonur spaceport in Kazakhstan yesterday delivering the Soyuz MS-14 spacecraft with Fedor into the near-Earth orbit.


First humanoid Russian robot, Fedor, flies to International Space Station

The Japan Times

MOSCOW – Russia on Thursday launched an unmanned rocket carrying a life-size humanoid robot that will spend 10 days learning to assist astronauts on the International Space Station. Named Fedor, for Final Experimental Demonstration Object Research with identification number Skybot F850, the robot is the first ever sent up by Russia. Fedor blasted off in a Soyuz MS-14 spacecraft at 6:38 a.m. The Soyuz is set to dock with the space station on Saturday and stay till Sept. 7. Soyuz ships are normally manned on such trips, but on Thursday no humans are traveling in order to test a new emergency rescue system. Instead of cosmonauts, Fedor was strapped into a specially adapted pilot's seat, with a small Russian flag in his hand.


The moon would look brighter than the SUN if the human eye could see cosmic rays

Daily Mail - Science & tech

If our eyes could see high-energy radiation called gamma rays the moon would appear brighter than the sun, experts have revealed. NASA's Fermi telescope has been studying our neighbour in space for the past decade, examining bursts of particles caused by the impact of cosmic rays. These fast moving particles, which originate outside our solar system, impact on the surface of the moon regularly as our natural satellite has no magnetic shield. Now, the space agency has release images and animated footage of the gamma rays that are produced when these cosmic rays hit the moon. If our eyes could see high-energy radiation called gamma rays the moon would appear brighter than the sun, experts have revealed.


Russia is about to send a humanoid AI robot to the International Space Station

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Russia's space agency Roscosmos is about to send a humanoid robot to the International Space Station. Skybot F-850 will be sent to the ISS on August 22 on board the Soyuz MS-14 spacecraft, and will spend over two weeks there before returning to Earth on September 7. The robot, also known as Fedor, made headlines in 2017 when Dmitry Rogozin, director general of Roscosmos, shared a video of it shooting guns. Shortly after he clarified they "are not creating a Terminator, but artificial intelligence that will be of great practical significance in various fields." Fedor was created to replicate the movement of a remote operator.


NASA pinpoints four landing spots where it will capture a piece of 'apocalypse asteroid' Bennu

Daily Mail - Science & tech

The team leading NASA's first mission to take a rock sample from the asteroid Bennu has selected four sites for the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft to'tag'. The spacecraft has already mapped the entire Bennu meteor - dubbed the'apocalypse asteroid' - in order to identify the safest and most accessible spots to retrieve a chunk of its surface. Now, the four locations will be studied before the final two sites – a primary and backup – are selected in December, this year. The OSIRIS-REx sample collection is scheduled for the latter half of 2020, and the spacecraft will return the asteroid samples to Earth on September 24, 2023. Osprey is set in a small crater, 66 feet (20 m) in diameter, which is also located in Bennu's equatorial region at 11 degrees north latitude, while Sandpiper is located in the meteor's southern hemisphere, at 47 degrees south latitude Sites: Nightingale is the northern-most site, situated at 56 degrees north latitude on Bennu, while Kingfisher is located in a small crater near Bennu's equator at 11 degrees north latitude The four candidate sample sites on Bennu are designated Nightingale, Kingfisher, Osprey, and Sandpiper – all birds native to Egypt.


Russia's space agency releases eerie footage of human-like android Fedor

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Russia's space agency has released eerie footage of its human-like android which will board the International Space Station next week. Nicknamed Fedor - which stands for Final Experimental Demonstration Research - the anthropomorphous machine was seen undergoing a battery of stress-tests at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Dubbed Putin's robo-naut, the machine can be seen determining targets and honing in on specific points, such as steering wheels, which will surely come in handy while they're in orbit. The scenes come ahead of its inclusion on the unmanned Soyuz MS-14 spacecraft on 22 August 2019. 'MMA fighter' loses temper and battles two revellers at once In action: Dubbed Putin's robo-naut, the machine can be seen determining targets and honing in on specific points, such as steering wheels, which will surely come in handy while they're in orbit On time: Putin's deputy premier, Dmitry Rogozin, claimed the war in Syria had shown Russia the importance of robots in difficult environments, and promised Fedor would make its space debut in five years - a deadline it will soon meet Fedor stands 6-foot tall, weighs no less than 233 pounds depending on extra equipment, and can lift up to 44 pounds of cargo.


Incredible footage shows the immense power of NASA's Orion rocket engines

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Incredible footage released by NASA has revealed the space agency's attempts to push its Orion spacecraft's engines to their limits, ahead of a planned 2024 manned mission to the moon dubbed Artemis. In the latest of an on-going series of tests, engineers conducted a continuous 12-minute firing of Orion's propulsion system. Orion is a capsule designed to carry humans to the moon and bring them back safely and the test simulated an abort-to-orbit scenario, in which the second stage of NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) rocket fails. Maggot leaps itself into the air'to catapult to safety' Samsung unveils Galaxy Note10's S Pen that offers greater control Huawei unveils its new'Harmony' phone operating system'Choose truth over facts!' Biden flubs line in Iowa speech Incredible footage released by NASA has revealed the space agency's attempts to push its Orion spacecraft's engines to their limits (pictured), ahead of a planned 2024 manned mission to the moon dubbed Artemis Under ideal conditions the SLS rocket would blast the Orion spacecraft - which will carry astronauts and their supplies - into orbit around the moon. Part of this process involves the interim cryogenic propulsion stage (ICPS) firing, blasting the Orion capsule away from the rocket behind it.


NASA footage reveals its Mars 2020 rover doing a 'bicep curl' that will let the robot grab samples

Daily Mail - Science & tech

It will be one of NASA's most ambitious missions and, to prove its prowess, the space agency has released footage of it Mars 2020 rover flexing its proverbial muscles - by performing heavyweight bicep curls. In a time-lapse video taken at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, earlier this month, the rover's 7-foot-long (2.1-meter-long) arm handily maneuvers 88 pounds' (40 kilograms') worth of sensor-laden turret as it moves from a deployed to a stowed configuration. This is no mean feat considering it's fitted with five heavy electrical motors and five joints - known as the shoulder azimuth joint, shoulder elevation joint, elbow joint, wrist joint and turret joint. Buff: The rover's 7-foot-long (2.1-meter-long) arm handily maneuvers 88 pounds' (40 kilograms') worth of sensor-laden turret as it moves from a deployed to a stowed configuration The turret itself includes HD cameras, a scanning instrument, X-ray technology and a coring mechanism for digging into the red planet. On Mars, the arm and turret will work together, allowing the rover to work as a human geologist would: by reaching out to interesting geologic features, abrading, analysing and even collecting them for further study.


Watch SpaceX launch a new docking port to the International Space Station

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This afternoon, SpaceX is slated to launch its latest cargo mission from Florida for NASA, sending about 5,000 pounds of supplies to the crew on the International Space Station. For this mission, the company is employing a Dragon cargo capsule that's already been to space twice before. If successful, it'll be the first time the same Dragon has gone on a third trip to space. Packed inside the Dragon's main storage compartment are some interesting goodies and science experiments for the crew to work with over the next few months. These include a printer designed to create 3D organ-like tissues in space, as well as an experiment to culture cells taken from patients with multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease.