Almost 200 people from 15 countries have visited the International Space Station, but the orbiting complex has so far only ever had human crew members – until now.
Robonaut 2, the latest generation of the Robonaut astronaut helpers, launched to the space station aboard space shuttle Discovery on the STS-133 mission. It is the first humanoid robot in space, and although its primary job for now is teaching engineers how dexterous robots behave in space, the hope is that through upgrades and advancements, it could one day venture outside the station to help spacewalkers make repairs or additions to the station or perform scientific work.
Now that R2 is unpacked it will initially be operated inside the Destiny laboratory for operational testing, but over time both its territory and its applications could expand. There are no plans to return R2 to Earth.