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News Link • Space Travel and Exploration

Japan has launched its first robot astronaut into space

 Despite being the first astronaut of its kind, Kirobo didn't quite merit a seat in the crew cabin, flying cargo instead.

Kirobo's mission, which will not begin until November, will be to speak to and provide friendly companionship for Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata. Wakata has yet to board the ISS, hence the delay before Kirobo's mission can begin. Eventually, Kirobo and robots like it are intended to become companions for the elderly and those who may be bed-ridden.

Equipped with facial recognition software and cameras, as well as the ability to walk (always useful in space) and talk, Kirobo should be able to provide a personal user experience for each person with whom it interacts.

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