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NASA’s Robonaut was launched aboard space shuttle Discovery a year ago. Crews have been testing it to see how it one day might help astronauts perform space station chores.

On Wednesday, ground controllers activated computer software that enabled the robot to extend its right hand, fingers outstretched. Mr. Burbank took the mechanical hand and pumped it up and down, as the robot’s fingers tightened around his hand.

“The first human-humanoid handshake in space,” Mr. Burbank proclaimed.

A cheer went up in the control room in Huntsville, Ala.

“For the record, it was a firm handshake,” Mr. Burbank radioed. “Quite an impressive robot.”

Robonaut, the first humanoid in space, built from the waist up, said via Twitter that it was an awesome experience, then followed up with some sign language.


Spree killer serving 200 years gets 25 more for final stabbing

NEW YORK — A man already sentenced to 200 years in prison for killing four people in a stabbing and carjacking rampage in New York City has received an additional 25 years.

Maksim Gelman was sentenced Wednesday for slashing a Manhattan subway passenger at the end of the bloody crime spree.

Gelman pleaded guilty last month to attempted murder.

Separately, Gelman admitted in Brooklyn to a string of killings and other violence that started with an argument over using his mother’s car. He killed his stepfather, a woman whose friends have said Gelman was obsessed with, the woman’s mother and a pedestrian who Gelman ran over.


Josh Powell’s family wants him to be buried near boys

SEATTLE — Josh Powell’s surviving relatives want him buried at the same cemetery as the two sons he killed, the city manager in Puyallup said Wednesday.

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