Russia's Soyuz MS-14 Docking Delayed Until Monday - Mission Control Center

James Marshall
August 24, 2019

A Soyuz spacecraft carrying Russia's first humanoid robotic on Saturday didn't dock mechanically with the worldwide house station, Moscow information companies reported.

Vladimir Solovyev, flight director for the Russian segment of the ISS, said a new docking attempt would be made Monday.

Fedor blasted off Thursday in a Soyuz MS-14 spacecraft from Russia's Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and was to stay on the ISS until September 7.

The Soyuz is on safe trajectory above and behind the space station, NASA said.

The docking could not be attempted manually because there wasn't a necessary system on board the Soyuz, a NASA announcer said during the live broadcast.

The Russian federal space agency Roscosmos plans to send instructions to swap the signal amplifier of the station's KURS docking system and test it before another docking attempt.

The robot was scheduled to spend 10 days at the facility where it would be used to support the crew and test its skills.

The spacecraft, which was maneuvered by a robot called Skybot F-850, was aborted at 1:36 a.m. EDT, NASA said in a blog post.

In addition to putting Fedor in space, the non-human flight was created to test the new rocket's upgraded flight and engine systems before possible manned missions to the space station using the rocket next year.

It stands around one meter and 80 centimeters tall and weighs 160 kilograms. Fedor replied with a saying typical of Russia's prided Soviet space programme: "Thank you, comrade". It was to trial these guide abilities in very low gravity. NASA sent humanoid robot Robonaut 2 to space in 2011 to work in hazardous environments.

FEDOR, who is the size an adult and can emulate movements of the human body, has apparently embraced his mission, describing himself as "an assistant to the ISS crew" on his Twitter page, which has 4,600 followers.

While the Skybot robot strapped into the commander's seat of the Soyuz MS-14 spacecraft is being developed to carry out a variety of relatively complex tasks, piloting a Soyuz is far beyond its capabilities.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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