FEDOR the Russian Skybot F-850 boards the International Space Station – Soyuz MS-14 docks after delay

An unmanned spacecraft carrying Russia’s first humanoid robot to be sent into orbit successfully docked at the ISS, following a failed attempt, Moscow’s space agency ROSCOMOS said.

The space craft took off Thursday from a Russian spaceport in southern Kazakhstan and Fedor the robot is due to stay on the ISS until September 7, learning to assist astronauts there.

According to Rob Navias “The second time was the charm.”

The space station was sailing 260 miles (418 kilometers) over eastern Mongolia when the Soyuz docked at at 11:08 p.m. EDT (0308 GMT).

Soyuz MS-14 is the first Soyuz capsule to visit the space station without a human crew. Well, with a humanoid robot, Fedor aka Skybot F 850

Russian space officials launched the spacecraft on a test flight on Aug. 22 using an upgraded Soyuz 2.1a rocket, a booster typically used to fly robotic Progress cargo ships.

Roscosmos wanted to test an uncrewed Soyuz capsule with the upgraded rocket before actual crewed launches begin in March 2020.

The spacecraft was originally scheduled to dock at the station’s top-mounted Poisk module on Saturday, but a problem with the automated rendezvous system on the module forced Soyuz to abort.

In order to clear the Zvezda module docking port for Soyuz MS-14, Russian cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov and two crewmates (Andrew Morgan of NASA and Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency) moved their own Soyuz spacecraft – named Soyuz MS-13 – to the Poisk port.

Skvortsov flew the Soyuz manually, avoiding the rendezvous system problems seen by Soyuz MS-14, which does not have a human crew to take manual control.

On Tuesday, a SpaceX Dragon cargo ship is scheduled to depart the space station and return to Earth.

The Dragon resupply ship, which is on its third trip to the station, will be released from the outpost’s robotic art at 10:42 a.m. EDT (1442 GMT) and return 2,700 pounds (1,225 kilograms) of science results and other gear to Earth.

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