December 13, 15:35
OMSK, October 3 (Itar-Tass) - A robot, model SAR-400 android, is destined for the International Space Station (ISS) as helpmate for Russian cosmonauts aboard. Scientists have started testing the first Russian robot designed to work in outer space.
Plans for its future were announced by Oleg Gordiyenko, science directorate deputy head at theYuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre Research Institute, announced on Thursday at a space industry conference.
"It's to perform operations both aboard the ISS and outside," he said. "Scientists' plans envision introducing robots in manned cosmonautics. This is a promising avenue of research for coming years."
Present technology has the robot performing operations precarious for humans, such as external spacecraft inspections to spot and repair damage or malfunctions.
Controllers plan to loft the android to the ISS within two years to partner a U.S. robot already there. Future destinations are likely to be missions to the Moon and Mars.
Soviet-era technologies have been put to use in developing the machine-man. Its manipulators have their roots in the Russian Buran shuttle programme and the pioneering Mir space station, now junk beneath Pacific waves since its work was brought to a close.