MOSCOW, August 18. /TASS/. A state commission has given the green light to the start of flight trials of the Soyuz-MS spacecraft and the Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket due to be launched on August 22, Roscosmos Director General Dmitry Rogozin said.
"At the Baikonur space center, a state commission gave the green light to the start of flight trials of the Soyuz-MS spacecraft and the Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket and of taking the space rocket to the launch pad on August 19," Rogozin wrote on his Twitter page on Saturday.
It will be the first time that a Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket will be used for sending a manned spacecraft to the orbit. Although there will be no humans on board this time, the spacecraft will carry Russia’s Skybot F-850 android robot and cargo to the International Space Station (ISS). The launch is scheduled for the morning of August 22, the docking with the ISS is due to take place on August 24.
The Skybot F-850 android robot (previously called FEDOR - Final Experimental Demonstration Object Research) was developed by Android Technology Company and the Advanced Research Fund on a technical assignment from Russia’s Emergencies Ministry. The android robot will join the Russian crew of the International Space Station to continue the tests of "the space-designated anthropomorphous system," Rogozin said earlier.
The Robot is expected to stay in orbit for a week and a half, after which it will return to Earth. In the future, the Skybot F-850 will travel to the Moon. Such flights will be performed before manned missions to the Earth’s natural satellite.