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Canadarm


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A system used by the space shuttle and International Space Station (ISS) to deploy or recover satellites and other payloads. It is also used to move astronauts when they stand on its mobile foot restraint during extravehicular activity. The original 15-m version, always mounted in the cargo bay of the space shuttle, was first used by Columbia on a flight in March 1982. The two arms are each 6.7 m long, and the end effector, or hand, is used to grasp payloads and move them in or out of the cargo bay.

Canadarm was designed and constructed by SparAerospace Ltd of Toronto, Canada. It can lift loads as large as a single-decker bus. A specially trained mission specialist uses two hand controls to operate the device, which has electric motors at its three joints. The operator receives television pictures from cameras located at these joints.

Canadarm 2 is longer (17.6 m), stronger, and more flexible than the first version. It was delivered to and installed on the ISS in April 2001, and immediately handed its 1 350-kg packing crate back to the Canadarm on Endeavour, the first robot-to-robot transfer in space.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.


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