If you've been following the Twitter account of our favorite robot (and the only humanoid) in space, then you know Robonaut 2 is out of the box and getting to work aboard the International Space Station (this morning it is using a tool to take air velocity measurements). But R2's technological contributions extend further than the ISS.
Our favorite Twitter ‘bot--no, like an actual robot that tweets--is out of the box and live-tweeting its new life on the International Space Station. Robonaut 2 was actually unboxed several months ago (it was delivered by the final Discovery mission in February) but has been sitting idly, waiting for the crew to get around to firing it up. Now R2 is plugged in, and man is it ever chatty.
Perhaps its sentimentality that's making Discovery stall its 39th and final mission. Scheduled to launch at 3:04 p.m. today after four days of delays for reasons ranging from helium and nitrogen leaks to voltage irregularities to stormy weather, the shuttle began leaking hydrogen fuel this morning midway through the fueling process.
After a two-day delay and a good deal of much-deserved sentiment, the Space Shuttle Discovery – NASA’s oldest active shuttle – is at the launch pad and go for launch for its final mission, with liftoff slated for 3:52 p.m. EST tomorrow. Technicians are spending the day making the final inspections of the external liquid oxygen feedlines, and onboard ground communications will be activated this afternoon. It will be Discovery’s 39th flight in 26 years.