President Barack Obama is known for his surprising sense of humor, so much so that some keen political observers even believe that it could harm his reputation. Nevertheless, the fear of appearing frivolous did not stop him from unleashing his humor while chatting up with astronauts aboard space shuttle Discovery.

With the intention of congratulating the 12 men and women on Discovery's final mission to the International Space Station, Obama called the shuttle on Thursday. After the typical congratulatory notes on the accomplishments and expression of pride, the President let loose his funny bone. The lighthearted moment of the conversation revolved around the newest member of the space station and the first humanoid robot in space, Robonaut 2, or R2.

Are you guys making him do chores or do dishes up there? the President asked.

Or does he have more exciting jobs?

When Discovery Commander Steven Lindsey informed the president that R2 is yet to be unpacked, Obama laughingly replied, He's still in packing foam? That's a shame. Come on guys, unpack the thing.

Taking the humor hint from the President, Lindsay told Obama that noises were heard from the robot's packing foam and that it could be his way of communicating the message: Let me out.

Meanwhile, R2, who has a very own Twitter account, has been posting on the great advice of the President.

The humanoid had earlier tweeted: I don't know exactly when I'll be unpacked yet. But keep watching. I'll let you know when I do!

R2's latest tweet reads: I think he gave them some great advice about me.

Incidentally, around the same time last year Obama surprised with his sense of humor while his ratings slid down a slippery slop. In March 2010, the President, while addressing House Republicans, said some things are more important than high poll numbers and on this, no one can accuse me of not living by my principles.

Although the president may not consider himself a natural comic, he is often heard making comments brimming with sharp and ironic humor. The president probably knows that his humor helps in humanizing an otherwise detached persona.