Tariq Malik
August 23, 2011

Photo: NASA TV


Move over Commander Data, there’s a real robot in space, now. The International Space Station got a new crewmember today, one made not of flesh and blood, but of gears and clockwork instead.

Called Robonaut 2, the automaton astronaut was activated by human spaceflyers today (Aug. 22) after months in storage since being delivered to the space station earlier this year. An initial series of tests checked the robot’s power systems and camera eyes.

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“Those electrons feel GOOD!” read a post on Robonaut 2’s Twitter page. “One small step for man, one giant leap for tinman kind.”

The first view through the robot’s eyes was a complicated panel of cables, dials and instruments.

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