Leslie Sponder: I’ve played a couple of different roles in the development of Dextre. One of them was to help look at all the procedures that the astronauts are going to use when they get on the Space Station, and we have to review all of those up at CSA, and so I was one of the people that took a look at the first drafts of those procedures. We have tools up here at CSA that they don’t have yet at NASA; they’re still developing them. So we actually have an ability to review procedures that they can’t down there.
One thing that makes me proud about it is that it’s brand new technology and it’s very interesting because every day you learn something new about it, and as part of going through a lot of the software information, I do learn a lot every day on different aspects of the technology.
Dextre in general represents sort of the ability of Canada to produce robotics and to do space robotics. And this mission in particular is sort of the culmination of many years of hard work, for the whole team and everyone involved.
My favourite thing about Dextre that we’ve gotten a chance to do is signing a thermal blanket that’s going to be used for Dextre. It’s been put on to Dextre, so they brought it here to CSA, and we all had to put on the white gloves and take a pen and sign it, and then they’re going to put it on Dextre and put it under one of the Canada logos that will be on there. So that’ll go up into space, and we all have our names on Dextre.