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Astronaut, robot shake hands in space

2012-02-16 08:25

Cape Canaveral - Astronauts and robots have united in space with a healthy handshake.

The commander of the International Space Station, Daniel Burbank, shook hands on Wednesday with Robonaut. It's the first handshake ever between a human and a humanoid in space.

Nasa's Robonaut was launched aboard space shuttle Discovery last February. Crews have been testing it to see how it one day might help astronauts perform space station chores.

On Wednesday, ground controllers sent up computer software that enabled the robot to extend its right hand, fingers outstretched. Burbank took the mechanical hand and pumped it up and down. The astronaut said it was a firm handshake.

And he said Robonaut - the first humanoid in space - is quite impressive. It resembles a human from the waist up.