The Roscosmos State Corporation has signed an agreement with social network Vkontakte to launch a robot named Spotty to the ISS in 2017. The robot will communicate with cosmonauts and transfer information to the Earth. It is planned that the robot will have a spherical shape, and the image of social network’s mascot – puppy Spotty.
Spotty will stay on the ISS for approximately 10 years. It will be equipped with a camera and projector to broadcast the communication with the crew of the ISS in the convenient format. Materials obtained by the robot will be available in the specially created for this purpose community on Vkontakte. Network users will also get an opportunity to ask cosmonauts questions with the help of Spotty.
The robot will be sent on board the Soyuz spacecraft together with new crew members of the ISS: Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin, American Jack Fischer and Italian Paolo Nespoli. Spotty will film prelaunch trainings of the crew and their stay on the space station. When required, electronic “crew member” will be disconnected for the people not to feel themselves as if they were starring in the Behind the Glass TV show, and to have some private life.
The Roscosmos Corporation is not planning to take money for launching the robot to the orbit. Its representatives state that the main reason and aim of collaboration with Vkontakte is the promotion of cosmonautics among Russian people.
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