Aug. 2 - Japanese researchers package robot astronaut Kirobo before its space launch on August 8. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION)
STORY: The first robot astronaut Kirobo is ready for its space debut aboard a rocket to the International Space Station (ISS), Japanese researchers said on Friday (August 2).
A video released on Friday showed the one kilogram, 34-centimeter-high robot being packaged into an insulated box, which will be sent to space aboard H-IIB rocket operated by Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).
The robot will conduct experiments in space by taking verbal orders from JAXA's astronaut commander and by remote-control from earth before his arrival at the space station towards the year end.
The other astronauts will, unfortunately, not be able to interact with the visiting robot unless they speak Japanese, Kirobo's native tongue.
Kirobo was developed by Tokyo University, Toyota Motor Corporation, advertising agency Dentsu and Robo Garage.
The cargo resupply vessel "Kounotori" will also take up 3.6 tons of dry cargo, water, experiments and spare parts to the ISS. It is set to berth with the ISS on August 9.
Kirobo is scheduled to return to earth in December 2014.
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