Dextre changes a pump on the International Space Station

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Uploaded on March 6, 2015

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Dextre changes a pump on the International Space Station

2015-03-06 - This computer-generated animation shows Dextre removing a failed ammonia pump, picking up a fresh spare, moving the latter to a location where spacewalkers can easily access it for installation at a later time, and then parking the failed pump where it is out of the way. Dextre, the Canadian Space Agency's robotic handyman on board the International Space Station (ISS), was built to make space operations safer and cheaper by using a robot to do routine maintenance work, freeing up astronauts to do more important things (like science).

Space robotics is serious business. But Dextre's daring lifts, spins and twirls on the end of Canadarm2 (the ISS's robotic arm) call to mind a circus act instead of the stiff motions typically associated with robots in Hollywood B movies! While you watch the animation, keep in mind that Dextre is always controlled by humans on the ground (at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, or at the Canadian Space Agency in St-Hubert, Quebec, Canada). Now imagine sitting in the flight controller's seat, driving the 17-metre long robotic arm with the nearly 4-metre tall Dextre flipping and dipping on the end… Whoa.

(Credit: Canadian Space Agency)

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