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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Robonaut 2 - First Humanoid Robot in Space

Credit: NASA
STS-133 was successfully launched at 4:53:24PM EST on February 24, 2011 from Kennedy Space Center's launch pad 39A. The mission is being flown by Space Shuttle Discovery on it's last mission. The mission duration is 11 days. Aboard Discovery is Robonaut 2 (R2), a collaboration between GM and NASA. R2 is the first humanoid robot in space. R2's primary job for now is to teach engineers how dexterous robots behave in space.
R2, the latest generation of the Robonaut astronaut helpers, is the first humanoid robot in space, and although its primary job for now is teaching engineers how dexterous robots behave in space, the hope is that through upgrades and advancements, it could one day venture outside the station to help spacewalkers make repairs or additions to the station or perform scientific work.
 Credit: NASALeonardo Multi Purpose Logistics Module
R2 will launch inside the Leonardo Permanent Multipurpose Module, which will be packed with supplies and equipment for the station and then installed permanently on the Unity node. Once R2 is unpacked – likely several months after it arrives – it will initially be operated inside the Destiny laboratory for operational testing, but over time both its territory and its applications could expand. There are no plans to return R2 to Earth.


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