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Watch: Russian robot takes solitary trip to final frontier in new rocket

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Fedor takes a piece of home with him to the ISS
Fedor takes a piece of home with him to the ISS -
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Russia has tested a new rocket by sending an (almost) unmanned mission to the International Space Station.

Fedor the robot took the commander's seat in the Soyuz capsule, holding a small Russian flag in his right hand, and blasted off from the Russia-leased launch pad in Kazakhstan on Thursday.

The capsule was launched by a new Soyuz 2.1a rocket which has only been used to launch unmanned vehicles. The new booster rocket is expected to replace the Soyuz-FG rocket next year.

Fedor sent out a tweet shortly after orbit saying onboard tests were going as planned.