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A Real Robot Goes Through the original Stargate

JPL Hazbot III going through the Stargate

A real robot: NASA JPL Hazbot III was first through the Stargate in 1993 movie that started the franchise -- and in real space exploration, robots go first.

When James Spader, playing a nice, sincere guy for once, helps the government use the stargate to open a wormhole, the first one through the wormhole is a robot. And not just a FX hack, it’s NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Hazbot III, brought out of mothballs for the movie. Hazbot sends back telemetry (how?) to indicate that the planet Abydos is earth-like and thus Kurt Russell and his special operations teams can safely make the next trip. Of course, the robot is never used again, either to help map out the alien planet or carry gear or to overcome Ra, the most beautifully androgynous alien since David Bowie in The Man Who Fell to Earth, but it was there first.

You can learn more about planetary rovers and space in science fiction here.

Movie poster for Stargate 1994 movie featuring JPL Hazbot III

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