Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield and the rest of the Expedition 34 crew welcomed a new member aboard today, or rather, brought an existing member to life.
Hadfield, from his active Twitter account announced, somewhat ominously: “Robonaut. Today we brought it to life on Space Station.”
Conceived in 1997, Robonaut, says NASA, was “…designed with the intention of eventually taking over tasks deemed too dangerous or mundane for astronauts, perhaps even venturing outside the complex someday to assist spacewalkers. Robonaut’s form and dexterity allow it to use the same tools that astronauts currently use and removes the need for specialized tools just for robots.
Sarnia-born Hadfield is one of five crew members of NASA’s Expedition 34. On December 21st, He launched in the Soyuz TMA-07M flight for a long duration stay on board the International Space Station as part of Expedition 35. He will become the first Canadian to command the ISS when the crew of Expedition 34 departs.
Hadfield’s career in space began in 1995. aboard NASA’s second space shuttle mission to dock with the Russian Space Station Mir. In 2001, he became the first Canadian ever to walk freely in space.