The humanoid robot, named Fedor, short for Final Experimental Demonstration Object Research, is the first ever sent up by Russia.
Fedor blasted off in a Soyuz MS-14 spacecraft from Russia’s Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. They are set to dock with the ISS Saturday and remain until September 7.
Instead of cosmonauts, Fedorvwas strapped into a specially adapted pilot’s seat, clenching a Russian flag.
“Let’s go. Let’s go,” the robot was heard saying during launch, repeating the famous phrase used by first man in space Yuri Gagarin.
The silvery anthropomorphic robot stands 1.80 metres (5 foot 11 inches) tall and weighs 160 kilogrammes (353 pounds).
Fedor has Instagram and Twitter accounts with posts saying it is learning new skills such as opening a bottle of water.
“That’s connecting and disconnecting electric cables (and) using standard items, from a screwdriver and a spanner to a fire extinguisher,” the Russian space agency’s director for prospective programmes and science, Alexander Bloshenko, said in televised comments ahead of the launch.
“The first stage of in-flight experiments went according to the flight plan,” the Fedor tweeted after reaching orbit.
Fedor copies human movements, a key skill that allows it to remotely help astronauts or even people on Earth to carry out tasks while the humans are strapped into an exoskeleton.
On the website of one of the state backers of the project, the Foundation of Advanced Research Projects, Fedor is described as potentially useful on Earth for working in high radiation environments, demining and tricky rescue missions.
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