Obama checks in on space robot

4 Mar 2011

The new robonaut aboard the International Space Station, named R2, was receiving a lot of attention on Earth, US President Barack Obama told the space station’s crew in a phone call, and even he asked if R2 was washing dishes yet.

Obama asked the six crew members of the Discovery space shuttle, which carried them to the space station, if R2 had been assigned chores.

R2, crew members replied, had not even been taken out of its packing foam yet.

To which Obama said, “Come on, guys, unpack the guy!”

During his call yesterday, Obama also acknowledged the astronauts for working to keep the space station running smoothly, and he paid tribute to Discovery, which NASA is retiring after this mission.

NASA also plans to keep R2, which has been designed to assist astronauts with simple, monotonous chores, packed up on the space station, even after the Discovery crew departs.