INDIA is planning to send a “female” humanoid robot to space.
The creepily realistic looking humanoid is called Vyommitra and she could be heading on her mission later this year.
Chief of the India Space Research Organisation, Kailasavadivoo Sivan, described Vyommitra as “half-humanoid” because the robot doesn’t have legs.
However, she is being described as “a woman”.
Vyommitra is said to speak two languages and will be communicating with mission control.
The device may even use its language skills to communicate with future astronauts.
India’s space agency unveiled the robot prototype at a media event in Bengaluru in India.
The event was used to display how the robot could move.
Some experts have questioned why using a humanoid robot to control an unmanned mission would be any better than just having software that could be programmed to control switches.
Mr Sivan indicated to the Times of India that this mission and Vyommitra are about inspiring Indians and highlighting the country’s achievements in space.
Vyommitra is just the latest part in India’s big plans for space.
Last month, the country’s doomed spacecraft that crashed into the Moon in September was found by Nasa.
The US space agency revealed an image showing the site of the £114million lander’s impact and the debris field, crediting an Indian engineer for helping locate the site.
Despite the loss, getting that close to the surface was an amazing achievement, Nasa said.
A successful landing would have made India just the fourth country to land a vessel on the lunar surface, and only the third to operate a robotic rover there.
The Moon – our closest neighbour explained
Here’s what you need to know…
- The Moon is a natural satellite – a space-faring body that orbits a planet
- It’s Earth’s only natural satellite, and is the fifth biggest in the Solar System
- The Moon measures 2,158 miles across, roughly 0.27 times the diameter of Earth
- Temperatures on the Moon range from minus 173 degrees Celcius to 260 degrees Celcius
- Experts assumed the Moon was another planet, until Nicolaus Copernicus outlined his theory about our Solar System in 1543
- It was eventually assigned to a “class” after Galileo discovered four moons orbiting Jupiter in 1610
- The Moon is believed to have formed around 4.51billion years ago
- The strength of its gravitational field is about a sixth of Earth’s gravity
- Earth and the Moon have “synchronous rotation”, which means we always see the same side of the Moon – hence the phrase “dark side of the Moon”
- The Moon’s surface is actually dark, but appears bright in the sky due to its reflective ground
- During a solar eclipse, the Moon covers the Sun almost completely. Both objects appear a similar size in the sky because the Sun is both 400 times larger and farther
- The first spacecraft to reach the Moon was in 1959, as part of the Soviet Union’s Lunar program
- The first manned orbital mission was Nasa’s Apollo 8 in 1968
- And the first manned lunar landing was in 1969, as part of the Apollo 11 mission
Inside the world’s ‘lost’ cities including Brazilian town ‘full of gold’
LOST IN SPACE
Nasa mysteriously loses control of £2bn rover on Mars, scientists reveal
Aliens may be HUMANS as scientist argues UFOs are piloted by time-travellers
THE TALKING DEAD
Voice of Ancient Egyptian priest mummy recreated 3,000 YEARS after he died
Sea level ‘doomsday’ simulator reveals whether YOUR home would be wiped out
In other space news, Nasa’s Curiosity rover has frozen stuck on Mars.
A nearby star we’ve watched for 180 years is mysteriously ‘dimming’, leaving scientists baffled.
And, the first ever cookie has been baked in space.
What are your thoughts on Vyommitra? Let us know in the comments…
We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online Tech & Science team? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org