Russian Capsule Carrying Robot Fails Docking the ISS

By Reuters

A Russian Soyuz spacecraft carrying a humanoid robot failed to dock with the International Space Station (ISS) on Saturday, Aug. 24, Russian news agencies reported, citing a live broadcast.

The FEDOR (Final Experimental Demonstration Object Research) robot on its way to the ISS on a planned two-week mission to support the crew and test its skills.

Russian space humanoid FEDOR
In this photo taken on July 26, 2019, and distributed by Roscosmos Space Agency Press Service, the Fedor robot is displayed before being loaded into a Soyuz capsule that was launched on Aug. 22, 2019, from the launch pad at Russia’s space facility in Baikonur, Kazakhstan. (Roscosmos Space Agency Press Service photo via AP)

The docking process, originally planned for 05:30 GMT, failed due to issues related to the automatic docking system, news agency, Interfax added, cited NASA TV as saying.

“Russian cosmonauts issued a command to abort the automated approach of an uncrewed Russian Soyuz spacecraft to the ISS after the craft was unable to lock onto its target at the station’s space-facing Poisk module,” NASA confirmed.

The spacecraft is currently 96 meters away from the station and officials plan to attempt docking again on Monday morning, RIA reported, citing Russia’s flight control center.

“The spacecraft is currently staying afar from the ISS, the docking is scheduled for the reserve date. The crew and the ISS are safe,” said Russia’s space agency Roskosmos in a tweet.

The capsule was launched Thursday as part of tests of a new rocket that is expected to replace the Soyuz-FG next year.

The Skybot F-850 is the first humanoid robot sent to space by Russia and was scheduled to spend two weeks running tests on board the station with Expedition 60 Commander Alexey Ovchinin before returning home the first week of September.

NASA sent humanoid robot Robonaut 2 to space in 2011 to work in hazardous environments.

FEDOR is the size of a human adult and can emulate movements of the human body.

The ISS is a joint project of the space agencies of the United States, Russia, Europe, Japan and Canada.

The CNN Wire and The Associated Press contributed to this report.