NASA’s robot completes first hardware test in space

FILE - In this Dec. 8, 2018, file photo, and released by Xinhua News Agency, the Chang'e 4 lunar probe launches from the the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwestern China's Sichuan province. The official China Central Television says Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019, the lunar explorer Chang'e 4 had touched down at 10:26 a.m to make first-ever landing on the far side of the moon. (Jiang Hongjing/Xinhua via AP, File)

May 19  NASA has completed the first hardware test of a robot in space that would take care of the International Space Station (ISS) in the near future.

The robot named Bumble is one of three Astrobee robots that will research automated caretaking aboard the ISS.

Bumble, and another robot named Honey were launched to the space station on April 17 aboard Northrop Grumman’s eleventh commercial resupply services mission from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

When needed the robots will be able to return to their docking station on their own and recharge their battery power, the US space agency said in a statement.

Astrobee is a free-flying robot system that will provide a research platform for the orbiting laboratory.

The system includes three robots as well as a docking station for recharging.

Robots will play a significant part in the agency’s mission to return to the Moon as well as other deep space missions.