Space Steerage

When the Robonaut shoots into space on its very first mission aboard STS-133, it will not do so in style.

As you can see from the photo, the Robonaut, or R2 as it is officially called for the mission, needs to be handled and packaged with care before it is subjected to the intense vibration and g-forces of a space shuttle launch. Hence, Sleepr, the R2's special crate, which will blanket the 150kg robot with protection thanks to thick insulting foam and an aluminium frame.

Once R2 is unpacked, its arms will carry tools and perform some of the same tasks as its astronaut comrades via a remote link to Houston. Oh, and the "little" guy has a Twitter account too, because, well, why not. [CNET]

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