ISS robot handyman practices with mock satellite

(Credit:
Canadian Space Agency)

The twin-armed Dextre has managed to retrieve tools and release launch locks on the Robotic Refueling Mission (RRM), an experiment to show that satellites can be refueled by a robot.

Dextre used a wire-cutting tool to sever a wire fastening a mock gas cap to the RRM module, a feat of considerable precision given the fact that Dextre is some 12 feet tall and the wire clearance was only 0.039 inch.

“It’s the robotic equivalent of threading a needle while standing on the end of a diving board,” the Canadian Space Agency quoted its president, Steve MacLean, as saying. “With 30 years of experience flowing through the iconic Canadarm, Canadarm2, and now Dextre, Canada has honed its skills in space robotics to millimeter precision.”

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