Human And Humanoid Robot Shake Hands In Space 1st

Published February 15, 2012 7:00PM (EST)

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Astronauts and robots have united in space with a healthy handshake.

The commander of the International Space Station, Daniel Burbank, shook hands 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 says it was a firm handshake.

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

By Salon Staff

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