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Sci-Tech

ISS astronauts reparked a spacecraft so Fedor the creepy robot can arrive

Hey, we need that parking spot. No problem, we'll just move our spacecraft.

soyuz13

One cosmonaut and two astronauts moved this Soyuz spacecraft from one ISS dock to another.

NASA

Fedor the humanoid robot is packed up tight in an uncrewed Soyuz MS-14 spacecraft, trailing along behind the International Space Station. 

Fedor was already supposed to be docked to the ISS by now, but a faulty automated rendezvous component at the docking port foiled his plans. The ISS crew had to come up with a quick fix.

Russian cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov, NASA's Andrew Morgan and the European Space Agency's Luca Parmitano hopped into a Soyuz MS-13 spacecraft that was already attached to the station, undocked it, flew it around the ISS and reparked it in a different spot. 

The spacecraft relocation has freed up a fully functional dock for Fedor's Soyuz to try to hook up with the ISS again on Monday night. This answer to the technical glitch came together fast, with just a day of planning. 

"Watching in admiration of the agility and cooperation of international space programs to work through the dynamics of human spaceflight," NASA's Christina Koch tweeted from her vantage point on board the ISS. It was the first time in four years this sort of operation has been performed on the ISS, Koch said.

NASA shared footage of the Soyuz redocking to the ISS late on Sunday night.

The Soyuz MS-14 loaded with Fedor and other supplies aborted its original docking attempt on Saturday. 

Fedor is the most famous piece of cargo on board. The humanoid robot, also known as Skybot F-850, starred in a bizarre Russian video in 2017 showing it firing handguns like Robocop. We're assuming it didn't get to take those weapons into space.

The astronauts and cosmonauts on the ISS won't have to sleep with one eye open for very long. Fedor is scheduled to return to Earth in early September. 

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