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Russia’s upgraded Soyuz MS-14 spacecraft features technology for more precise landing

The launch on August 22 is a test blastoff before a manned mission to the ISS

BAIKONUR COSMODROME /Kazakhstan/, August 22. /TASS/. Russia’s Soyuz MS-14 spacecraft that lifted off with a humanoid robot on its board towards the International Space Station (ISS) during the test launch of a Soyuz-2.1 carrier rocket incorporates improved technology for a more precise landing, State Space Corporation Roscosmos Chief Dmitry Rogozin said on Thursday.

"The second part of the tests involves tests during the landing. The spacecraft itself incorporates new solutions that will provide for a more precise landing," the Roscosmos chief said.

The Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket blasted off from the Gagarin Start launch pad of the Baikonur spaceport in Kazakhstan at 06:38 Moscow time on Thursday, delivering the spacecraft into the near-Earth orbit. The spacecraft with the humanoid robot on its board is set to dock with the ISS at 08:31 Moscow time on August 24 after a two-day flight.

"From 2002, Russia used Soyuz-FG carrier rockets to deliver international crews to the orbital outpost. From 2020, Russia is set to switch to Soyuz-2.1a rockets, which previously delivered only freight spaceships and satellites into orbit. The launch on August 22 is a test blastoff before a manned mission to the International Space Station.

Robot Fedor

The android robot Fedor, which is travelling to the orbital outpost aboard the Soyuz MS-14 spacecraft, has been developed by Android Technology Company and the Advanced Research Fund on a technical assignment from Russia’s Emergencies Ministry.

The android robot has received its own name of Skybot F-850 where the letter F stands for its affiliation with the Fedor family of robots.

As Roscosmos Chief Rogozin said, the Skybot F-850’s basic goals include transmitting telemetry data, determining parameters related to the flight safety, including overloads and carrying out experiments to test the robot’s operations useful on the external side of the space station.

The robot will stay about 17 days in orbit. In general, the robot Fedor will act as an artificial cosmonaut, the Roscosmos chief said.