BAIKNOUR, Kazakhstan – Russian humanoid robot Fyodor was successfully launched into space inside the Soyuz MS-14 vehicle on the Soyuz-2.1a rocket of Kazakhstan’s Baikonur cosmodrome on Thursday.
The rocket took off at 06:38 Moscow time as planned.
During the release, as shown in a Russian agency Roscosmos webcast, Fyodor said the legendary “Come on!” immortalized by Yuri Gagarin, the first human to travel to space, on April 12, 1961.
About eight minutes after launch, the Soyuz MS-14 was put into orbit.
The spacecraft should now fly to the International Space Station on a two-day schedule. Arrival at the station is expected to take place on Saturday at 8:30 am Moscow time.
The spacecraft was launched for an unmanned mission to test the interoperability between it and the new Soyuz-2.1a carrier for the first time before future manned mission launches. It will provide scientific equipment for experiments, medication, food supply containers, crew packages and Fyodor, also known as Skybot F-850.
The Russian cosmonauts will test the robot systems under the conditions of space flight. The main purpose is to use it during hazardous tasks aboard the spaceship, including spacewalks.
Back in May, manned flight to the moon with the landing of Russian cosmonauts is scheduled for 2030, said the general director of Russian space corporation Roscosmos, Dmitri Rogozin.
“The [cosmonaut] moon landing is scheduled for the year 2030,” Rogozin said during a presentation at Moscow University (MGU).
He added that by 2029 the moon will be orbited by space apparatuses, and by 2030 modules will be deployed to the lunar surface where the cosmonauts will work.
Rogozin also commented that a Russian spaceship will fly to the moon between 2026 and 2028, unmanned.
“Between 2026 and 2028, the ship will do flight tests,” he said.
The Roscosmos chief stated that he “doesn’t believe much” in the industrial exploitation of the moon’s resources.
“I don’t really believe in the industrial use of the moon,” said Rogozin.
During his presentation, Rogozin also commented on US plans to land astronauts on the moon in 2024. According to him, this is a “show”.
“We have information that Congress will allocate more funds to this moon landing show (in 2024) and will allocate less to the orbital lunar station,” he said.
It was previously predicted that the US would create, in international cooperation, the Lunar Orbital Platform station, and that the first module would be inserted into orbit by 2024.
Russia could create a docking module in this project and also help in setting up a space transport system.
According to the latest plans, the United States plans to land astronauts on the moon in 2024.