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A Japanese rocket – bound for the International Space Station – has blasted off with a very special onboard. It is not only carrying supplies, but a talking humanoid robot as well.

Kirobo is the first piece of technology of its kind to visit the floating laboratory.

The mission of the robot, which has a double called the Mirata, is to be a companion for a Japanese astronaut aboard the space station.

Kirobo speaks Japanese, records conversations and will play a role in some missions.

It is hoped the robot’s out of this world experience will open up a new chapter in space communication.

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