The robot and one of its companions, Honey, flew to the station on April 17th.

When in service, the Astrobee robots will effectively become spaceborne Roombas — they’ll test how well robots can handle day-to-day maintenance and assist the crew. Ideally, future robots will take care of this drudgery so that humans can focus on more important tasks like science experiments and exploration. This could help the eventual return to the Moon (not to mention trips to Mars) by reducing the necessary astronaut headcount, or at least reducing the stress for those astronauts who make the journey.

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