Russia is Sending a Robot Crew to Space In 2019
It's a hard and dangerous job, but someone's gotta do it...or something? It's no secret that Russia (among many other countries with space programs) is trying to get to space and early and as often as possible. According to Engadget, they have two new non-human volunteers ready to make the trip next year with preliminary approval from Roscosmos.
A source at Russia's RIA Novosti says revealed that there will be two FEDOR (Final Experimental Demonstration Object Research) robots aboard the Soyuz spacecraft headed for the International Space Station next year. The FEDOR program was launched back in 2014 by the Foundation for Advanced Studies with the objective to use machines to replace humans in dangerous missions, so its impressive that they may see that unprecedented dream become a reality after five short years. In 2017, the robot became the first ever to perform a sit split, which demonstrated its range of motion. "The robot Fedor has the best kinematics in the world among robotic androids," read a statement from the Foundation. "He is the only anthropomorphic robot in the world, able to perform both longitudinal and cross sit splits. The mechanics of other androids existing in the world do not allow for such freedom of movement." Those mechanics will surely come in handy when the robots are tasked with going into space without a human colleague.
But there is something else that FEDOR is famous for, and that's having the ability to shoot guns with both hands. Demonstrations of the scary skill went viral online and worried some people (for good reason) about what Russia intended to use the robots for. As far as we know, gripping and firing Glocks will not be necessary en route to the Space Station, but if there are any xenomorphs waiting at least they will be capable of defending themselves.