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Flight history of Canadarm

Canadarm was launched into space for the first time on , aboard Space Shuttle Columbia.

In total, five Canadarms were built and delivered to NASA. One arm was lost in the Challenger accident in .

Canadarm operated successfully for 30 years. As the Space Shuttle program came to an end, Canadarm took its 90th and final flight in . The Canadian icon was succeeded by Canadarm2.

The Canadarms at work

Canadarm and Canadarm2 working together to unload cargo from the payload bay of Space Shuttle Endeavour. (Credit: NASA)



Around 9:00 a.m. EST, on , Pilot Richard Truly proceeds to deploy Canadarm out of the Shuttle Columbia's cargo bay for the first time. Truly tests the Canadian-built Remote Manipulator System in all its operating modes. "The arm is out and it works beautifully," Truly reported to Mission Control. "Its movements are much more flexible than they appeared during training simulations." About an hour later, as the Shuttle flies over the U.S., the first images are transmitted to the ground, showing Canadarm, bent in an inverted V shape position, that shines against the black-jet background of space and a milky blue Earth.


Canadarm is used to deploy and manoeuvre the Plasma Diagnostics Package, on the first operational mission of the Shuttle arm.


Canadarm is used to deploy and manoeuvre the Induced Environment Contamination Monitor.


Operated by Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, Canadarm is used to deploy and retrieve the SPAS-01 science platform.


Canadarm is used to deploy and manoeuvre the Payload Flight Test Article payload.


Canadarm is used as a work platform for spacewalkers Bruce McCandless and Robert Stewart. During two spacewalks, the two astronauts perform the first tests in space of the manned manoeuvering unit (MMU), a free-flying space scooter.


Canadarm is used to deploy the 10.5-tonne, bus-size Long Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF), as well as to rescue, repair and redeploy the Solar Maximum Mission satellite. This first repair on orbit of a satellite is achieved by spacewalkers James Van Hoften and George Nelson.


Canadarm is used to free clogged waste water on the Shuttle.


First Canadian astronaut mission, with Marc Garneau aboard. He performs the CANEX-1 set of experiments. Canadarm is used to deploy the Earth Radiation Budget Satellite (ERBS), as well as to support a spacewalk by Kathryn Sullivan and David Leestma.


Canadarm is used to rescue the Westar VI and Palapa B-2 satellites, and to support spacewalk activities by astronauts Joseph Allen and Dale Gardner.


Canadarm is used to support this first U.S. Department of Defense mission, a classified three-day mission.


Canadarm is used with a "swatter" to repair a Syncom communications satellite during a three-hour spacewalk performed by Jeffrey Hoffman and David Griggs. A Canadian Anik communications satellite is also deployed during this mission.


Canadarm is used to deploy, release and retrieve the Spartan-1 platform. For its first flight, the Shuttle Pointed Autonomous Research Tool for Astronomy (Spartan) operates autonomously in the vicinity of the Shuttle.


Canadarm is used to deploy, release, and retrieve Plasma Diagnostics Package.


Canadarm is used as a work platform to hold Syncom/Leasat-3 satellite for repairs by spacewalking astronauts James Van Hoften and William Fisher.


Canadarm is used to monitor water dumps from the Shuttle on this Spacelab mission.


Canadarm is used for demonstration of space station truss construction by spacewalkers Jerry Ross and Sherwood Spring. In two spacewalks lasting a total of 12 hours and 20 minutes, they perform the EASE/ACCESS (Assembly Concept for Construction of Erectable Space Structures) assembly experiments.


The crew of this mission, including the first teacher in space Christa McAuliffe, are all killed when Challenger explodes, 73 seconds after liftoff. Arm 302 is also lost.


First Canadarm flight onboard U.S. Space Shuttle Atlantis. Canadarm is used to support this four-day Department of Defense classified mission.


Mission Specialist Bonnie Dunbar uses Canadarm to retrieve the 10.5-tonne LDEF, which had been orbiting silently since . Dunbar grapples the bus-size satellite on Mission Day 4, .


Canadarm, operated by Mission Specialist Steven Hawley, is used to deploy and release the long-awaited Hubble Space Telescope.


Canadarm is used to evaluate the atomic oxygen effects on various materials of the Intelsat Solar Array Coupon payload.



Canadarm is used in the deployment of the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory. The Shuttle arm is also used to support two spacewalks by astronauts Jerry Ross and Jerome Apt, for a total of 10 hours and 49 minutes.


Canadarm is used to deploy and retrieve the Shuttle Pallet Satellite platform on this first unclassified U.S. Deptarment of Defense-sponsored mission. The Shuttle Pallet Satellite (SPAS) platform carries the Infrared Background Signature Survey (IBSS) experiment.


Canadarm is used to deploy Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS), with 11 science payloads, including Canada's WINDII instrument.


First Canadarm flight onboard U.S. Space Shuttle Endeavour. Canadarm is used to retrieve the Intelsat-VI satellite and to support the four spacewalks required to repair the stranded communications satellite. EVA-3, by astronauts Pierre Thuot, Richard Hieb and Thomas Akers, gives way to the first-ever three-person Extravehicular activity (EVA) and is the longest U.S. spacewalk, at 8 hours and 29 minutes.


Canadarm, operated by the first non-U.S. Mission Specialist, European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Claude Nicollier, is used to deploy the EURECA (European Retrievable Carrier) platform. EURECA, carrying a variety of materials, life sciences and radiobiology experiments, would spend nearly 11 months orbiting the Earth prior to its retrieval on STS-57 in .


On this life science mission, the Shuttle arm is used for experimental manoevres only.


With the third Canadian Space Agency (CSA) astronaut Steve MacLean flying on a space mission, Canadarm is used to support the CANEX-2 set of experiments, including the first space test of the Canadian Space Vision System (CSVS). Cameras in the cargo bay are pointed at the dot array disposed on the surface of the Canadian Target Assembly (CTA), a passive satellite that is grappled at the end of Canadarm for the CANEX experiment.


Canadarm is used to deploy, release and retrieve the Spartan-201 platform on a Solar Physics mission.


Canadarm is used to retrieve the EURECA platform. Canadarm also supports a spacewalk by G. David Low and Jeff Wisoff that lasts 5 hours and 50 minutes.


Canadarm is used for the deploy, releasing and retrieval of the ORFEUS-SPAS platform which carries, along with its astronomy payload, a Canadian-made remote IMAX camera.


Operated by ESA Mission Specialist Claude Nicollier, Canadarm is used to retrieve and later redeploy the Hubble Space Telescope during this critical first repair mission. Canadarm also supports a record number of EVAs, five, totalling 35 hours and 28 minutes. The spacewalks are carried out by astronauts F. Story Musgrave and Jeffrey Hoffman (EVA-1; EVA-3; EVA-5), and by Thomas Akers and Katherine Thornton (EVA-2; EVA-4).


For the first time, a Russian cosmonaut, Sergei Krikalev, flies aboard an American space shuttle. On Day 3, Mission Specialist Jan Davis grapples the Wake Shield Facility (WSF-1) with Canadarm and lifts the 3.7-metre wide disk (used to plow through space, pushing aside stray molecules of atomic oxygen, to create an ultrapure vacuum behind the satellite) above Discovery's cargo bay.


Canadarm is used in conjunction with a magnetic end effector to demonstrate the Dexterous End Effector (DEE).


The Shuttle arm is used only as support in case of contingency EVA.


Canadarm is used to position the Shuttle Plume Impingement Flight Experiment (SPIFEX) experimental boom; to deploy and retrieve Spartan 201-II platform; and to support a 6 hour, 51 minute EVA by astronauts Mark Lee and Carl Meade. The two spacewalkers make history when they test the Simplified Aid for EVA Rescue (SAFER), a small, self-contained propulsive backpack device that provides free-flying mobility for an EVA astronaut in an emergency.

- (STS-68)

The Shuttle arm is used only as support in case of contingency EVA.


During this historic rendezvous mission with space station Mir, which included amongst crew members the first-ever female pilot, Eileen Marie Collins, Canadarm deploys and retrieves the Spartan 204 platform, and supports a 5 hour, 39 minute EVA by astronauts Bernard Harris and C. Michael Foale.


Durant cette historique mission de rendez-vous avec la station spatiale Mir, le Canadarm déploie et récupère la plate-forme Spartan 204 puis appuie une activité extravéhiculaire d'une durée de 5 heures et 39 minutes réalisées par les astronautes Bernard Harris et C. Michael Foale. L'équipage de la station Mir comprend la première femme pilote, Eileen Marie Collins.


The Shuttle arm is used only as support in case of contingency EVA.


The Canadarm is used to deploy and to retrieve both the Wake Shield Facility (WSF-2) ultra-vacuum experiments and the Spartan 201 platform.


During this second docking mission to Mir, Chris Hadfield becomes the first CSA astronaut to operate Canadarm when he uses the Shuttle arm to build the large, 5-tonne Russian Docking Module onto Atlantis' Orbiter Docking System.


Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata operates the Shuttle arm to retrieve Japan's Space Flyer Unit. Canadarm is also used to deploy and retrieve the Spartan-based OAST Flyer.


Marc Garneau makes his second space flight and becomes the second CSA astronaut to operate the Canadarm when he uses it to retrieve Spartan 207/Inflatable Antenna Experiment (IAE), which has been deployed earlier by Mission Specialist Mario Runco.


The Canadarm is used to deploy the Wake Shield Facility (WSF-3) and ORFEUS-SPAS II platform. Due to problems opening Columbia's airlock hatch, planned EVA could not be performed.


Operated by Mission Specialist Steven Hawley, the Canadarm is used for retrieval and redeployment operations during the second Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission. The Canadarm also supports five spacewalks by astronauts Mark Lee and Steven Smith (EVA-1; EVA-3; EVA-5) and by astronauts Gregory Harbaugh and Joseph Tanner (EVA-2; EVA-4).


The Canadarm is used to deploy and retrieve the CRISTA/SPAS II platform that carries a payload to study the chemical make-up of the Earth's middle atmosphere. During this mission, Bjarni Tryggvason becomes the sixth CSA astronaut in space. Tryggvason tests on orbit the second generation Microgravity Insulation Mount (MIM), of which he is a co-designer.


The Canadarm releases the Spartan 201-04 platform, but due to a faulty manoeuvre by arm operator Kalpana Chawla, the tumbling platform has to be manually captured by spacewalkers Winston Scott and Takaoi Doi, representing NASDA, the Japanese space agency (now JAXA). Canadarm is later used to support EVA activity EDFT-05, an ORU (Orbital Replacement Unit) handling experiment.


During this last flight of the Shuttle-Mir Docking Program, the Canadarm undergoes a complete check of all its modes and functions to evaluate new, digital Servo Power Amplifiers (SPA) that now electronically control each of its six joints.


During this Spacehab mission that sees the return to space of former astronaut John H. Glenn, the Canadarm, operated by Mission Specialist Scott Parazynski, is used to deploy the Spartan 201-5 platform. Two days later, Mission Specialist Steve Robinson operates the Canadarm to grapple the science satellite and place it in Discovery's cargo bay.


Operated by Mission Specialist Nancy Currie, the Canadarm, aided for the first time by the CSVS, is used to dock the Unity connecting node to the first element of the International Space Station (ISS), Russian module Zarya. Later, Canadarm supports three spacewalks totalling 21 hours, 22 minutes, by spacewalkers Jerry Ross and Jim Newman.


During this logistics mission to the embryonic ISS, Canadarm is used to support an eight-hour EVA. While Mission Specialist Ellen Ochoa operates the Canadarm to move EV1 Tammy Jernigan around Discovery's cargo bay, Julie Payette, the eighth CSA astronaut in space and first to board the Space Station, acts as "choreographer" of the spacewalk from Discovery's flight deck. Later in the mission, Payette operates the Canadarm to inspect the targets of the CSVS.


The Canadarm is used to retrieve and later redeploy the Hubble Space Telescope during the third servicing mission to the first of NASA's Great Observatories. Always operated by ESA Mission Specialist Jean-François Clervoy, the Canadarm also supports three EVAs by spacewalkers Steve Smith and John Grunsfeld, for a total of 24 hours, 33 minutes.


The Canadarm is used to support a 6.5-hour EVA by astronauts James S. Voss and Jeffrey N. Williams, who make the last planned equipment changes prior to the arrival of the ISS's third element, Russia's Zvezda service module.


The Canadarm is used to support a 6.25-hour spacewalk by U.S. astronaut Edward Lu and Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko, who made a grueling ascent to lay cable and install a boom for a navigation unit on the exterior of the ISS.


Operated by Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata, the Canadarm is used to install the Z1 (Zenith 1) truss and pressurized mating adapter 3 (PMA-3) on the Station. Again operated by Wakata, the Canadarm is used to support four spacewalks, alternately carried out by the teams of Leroy Chiao and William McArthur (EVA 1 and 3), as well as Jeff Wisoff and Michael Lopez-Alegria (EVA 2 and 4).


For his third and final voyage to space, CSA astronaut Marc Garneau operates the Canadarm to build the P6 integrated truss structure that contains a photovoltaic array assembly on the Zenith Z1 truss. Later, Pilot Michael J. Bloomfield uses the Canadarm to support spacewalkers Joe Tanner and Carlos Noriega during three EVAs totalling 19 hours, 20 minutes, while Garneau acts as the IVA officer, a kind of "choreographer" of the spacewalks.



Operated by Marsha Ivins, the Canadarm is used first to remove a Station docking port, called Pressurized Mating Adapter 2 (PMA 2), making room to install the U.S. Laboratory Module Destiny, the heart of the International Space Station (ISS). Later, Ivins uses the Canadarm to move PMA 2, which had been temporarily parked on the side of the Station's external truss structure, to the forward end of the newly installed Destiny. The Canadarm also supports spacewalkers Bob Curbeam and Tom Jones during three Extravehicular activities (EVAs) totalling 19 hours, 49 minutes. Curbeam and Jones hook Destiny to the Unity node; help attach PMA 2 to the forward end of Destiny; attach a spare communications antenna on the exterior of the Station; and inspect the solar arrays.


With the first-ever exchange of Space Station crew under way (Discovery brings Expedition Two crew members Yuri Ussachev, Susan Helms and Jim Voss to the Space Station to replace Expedition One crew members Bill Shepherd, Yuri Gidzenko and Sergei Krikalev), Mission Specialist Andy Thomas first uses the Canadarm to support an 8-hour, 56-minute EVA by Susan Helms and Jim Voss. A day later, Thomas uses the Canadarm to remove the Italian space agency's Leonardo logistics module from the Shuttle's cargo bay and attach it to the Station's Unity module. Pilot James Kelly operates the Canadarm to move around Andy Thomas, accompanied by Mission Specialist Paul Richards during a second spacewalk that lasts 6 hours, 30 minutes.


Sunday , is a historic day for Canada. At 7:45 a.m. EDT on Mission Day 4, Canadian Space Agency (CSA) astronaut Chris Hadfield becomes the first Canadian astronaut ever to perform a spacewalk as he steps out of Shuttle Endeavour's airlock with crewmate Scott Parazynski, on the first of two planned EVAs. As the pair don their spacesuits, Pilot Jeff Ashby powers up theCanadarm and uses it to latch the Spacelab Pallet that contains the folded Canadarm2, a 17-metre robotic arm that will help construct and maintain the ISS, to a cradle on the Destiny module.

EVA-1, which lasts 7 hours and 10 minutes, first involves installation of a UHF antenna as well as the installation of cables that provide station power, command, and video to and from the Flight Support Equipment Grapple Fixture on the Pallet. The two spacewalkers then remove the eight metre-long superbolts that secured Canadarm2 during launch. To facilitate the unfolding of Canadarm2, Hadfield, who is riding at the end of the Canadarm, which is being lifted by Ashby, pushes Canadarm2 up.

On Mission Day 5, Parazynski uses the Canadarm to attach the Raffaello logistics module to a port on the Station's Unity module. Then on Mission Day 6, the Canadarm, again operated by Ashby, is used to support the second spacewalk by Hadfield and Parazynski. EVA-2, lasting 7 hours and 40, the two spacewalkers complete power and data connections on Canadarm2 and disconnect cables on the Spacelab Pallet. On Mission Day 9, Parazynski uses the Canadarm to move back the 6, 668-kilogram Raffaello module into the cargo bay.

Saturday (Mission Day 10) also made history for Canada in space. At 4:44 p.m., Chris Hadfield, aboard Endeavour, commanded the Canadarm to grasp the Spacelab Pallet that is held by Canadarm2, operated from inside the Destiny module by Expedition Two member Susan Helms. 18 minutes later, the pallet, which had been used as a launch cradle for Canadarm2, changes hands as this historical handshake between two generations of Canadian space robotics occurs high above British Columbia.


The Canadarm, operated by Mission Specialist Janet Kavandi, is used to support two of three spacewalks by astronauts Michael Gernhardt and James Reilly. During EVA-1, Gernhardt and Reilly assist Canadarm2 operator Susan Helms with the installation–the first operational mission of the Canadian station manipulator–of the Quest joint airlock onto the Station's Unity node. On EVA-2, a spacewalk that lasts 6 hours 29 minutes, Gernhardt and Reilly install three high-pressure gas tanks onto the Quest airlock.


During this second ISS crew exchange mission (Discovery brings to the Station Expedition Three members Frank Culbertson, Vladimir Dezhurov and Mikhail Turin to replace Expedition Two members Yuri Ussachev, Susan Helms and Jim Voss), the Canadarm, first operated by Mission Specialist Pat Forrester, is used to lift the Leonardo supply vessel and attach it onto the Unity node.

Discovery's Commander Scott Horowitz later operates theCanadarm to support two spacewalks by astronauts Dan Barry and Pat Forrester. EVA-1, an excursion that lasts 6 hours and 16 minutes, involves installing the Early Ammonia Servicer and the first external experiment, a materials samples exposition experiment called MISSE, on the Station's hull. During EVA-2, a spacewalk that lasts 5 hours and 29 minutes, Barry and Forrester successfully strings two 45-foot heater cables and installs handrails down both sides of the Destiny module. Two days after EVA-2, Forrester uses the Canadarm to carefully remove the Leonardo logistics module from the Station and place it back in Discovery's cargo bay.


The Canadarm will be used to support this logistics flight and third ISS crew exchange mission (Expedition Four members Yuri Onufrienko, Daniel Bursch and Carl Waltz are going to replace Expedition Three members Frank Culbertson, Vladimir Dezhurov and Mikhail Turin). Endeavour will deliver the Raffaello Multi-Purpose Logistics Module to the Space Station. The CSA EVARM (Extra-Vehicular Activity Radiation Monitor) experiment hardware is part of the STS-108 manifest.


During this 11-day mission, the Canadarm is used to rejuvenate the Hubble Space Telescope with the help of astronauts performing five spacewalks. After grasping the telescope and pulling it into the payload bay, the spacewalkers, assisted by Mission Specialist Nancy Jane Currie operating the Canadarm, install new and improved equipment: a new power distribution module and a camera that can see twice as great an area with more speed and clarity. They also install an experimental cooling system in hope of restoring life to the Near-Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer.


The Canadarm supports a six-and-a-half-hour spacewalk by U.S. astronauts Steven Smith and Rex Walheim, who release a claw that initially held the truss to the Lab. They also reconfigure Canadarm2 connectors for electricity from the Lab to be powered by the truss. Smith works from the end of Canadarm while Walheim free floats, tethered to the Station. Smith and Walheim also release clamps that secured the mobile transporter to the truss.


On the fourth day of the mission, the Canadarm operated by Commander Cockrell is used to move the multi-purpose logistics module Leonardo (MPLM) from Endeavour's payload bay to the Unity module. Leonardo contains equipment and supplies that are transferred from the middeck of the Shuttle to the Station.

The first spacewalk of this mission focuses on the pre-installation of the Mobile Base System (MBS), Canada's second contribution to the ISS. Astronauts Philippe Perrin and Franklin Chang-Diaz suit up and venture out by the ISS Airlock. Astronaut Walz and cosmonaut Korzun operate Canadarm2 to move spacewalkers around, while Commander Cockrell operates the Canadarm to film spacewalk activities using its cameras.

At the end of the mission, the Canadarm fills the MPLM with unneeded equipment and refuse from the Station for return to Earth.


The Canadarm is used only as support in case of contingency spacewalk activity.

/ (STS-113)

Operated by U.S. astronaut Jim Wetherbee, the Canadarm is used to remove the P1 truss from Endeavour's payload bay and to hand it off to the Station's Canadarm2. Astronauts Whitson and Bowersox manoeuvre the P1 to its installation position.

/ (STS-114)

STS-114 is the first Return to Flight mission since the tragic loss of Columbia on . Over two years have been spent researching and implementing safety improvements for orbiters and external tanks. One of the requirements was to inspect the underside of the Shuttle before reentry. To make this possible, MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (MDA) of Brampton, Ontario developed an extension to the Canadarm to perform on-orbit inspections of the Shuttle's thermal protection system.

During mission STS-114, the Canadarm and its extension boom are used to conduct surveys of Space Shuttle Discovery after launch and before landing. The crew uses the Canadarm to pick up the new 15-metre Orbiter Boom, and, like a dental mirror, inspect hard-to-reach areas of the Shuttle. The Laser Camera System, one of the two 3-D laser imagers at the tip of the boom, studies the parts of Discovery's wings and nose subject to the most intense heat during reentry for damage.


Mission STS-121, the second Return to Flight mission, aims to demonstrate techniques for inspecting and protecting the shuttle's thermal protection system and to replace critical hardware needed for future station assembly.

En route to the station, the day after launch, the Canadarm and its 15-metre orbiter boom sensor system (OBSS), or Inspection Boom, tipped with two types of lasers and a high-resolution television camera are used to inspect key areas of the wings for any sign of damage that may have occurred during launch. Additional inspections using this equipment occur the day before and the day of undocking from the Space Station.

During the first spacewalk, the Canadarm and OBSS are tested as a platform for spacewalking astronauts to repair damaged hard-to-reach areas of the orbiter.


Mission STS-115 marks the return to the assembly of the ISS. The Canadarm and its Inspection Boom are used on flight day two to perform inspection of every inch of the spacecraft for possible signs of damage from the launch.

The Canadarm is also used on flight day three to grapple the P3/P4 truss segments and to hand them off to Canadarm2 on the ISS.

After undocking, Canadian astronaut Steve MacLean controls the Canadarm to pluck the Inspection Boom out of Atlantis' cargo bay. The crew then conducts a final visual check-up for any possible on-orbit thermal tile damage to the vehicle and sends the images to ground control for inspection.


During the 13-day mission—the 20th shuttle flight to the ISS—the crew rewires the outpost's power system and continues constructing the Station by installing the P5 integrated truss segment. During Station ops, the Canadarm lifts the P5 truss out of Discovery's payload bay and hands it to the Station's arm.


Shuttle Mission STS-117 is the continuation of assembly operations that features more work on the Station's solar arrays. The crew also installs a new truss segment. The Canadarm is used to take a closer look at an area of an insulation blanket. Later it is fitted with its Inspection Boom to survey the heat shield on Atlantis' wings and nose cap.


Space Shuttle Endeavour's STS-118 mission is the 22nd shuttle flight to the ISS. For Canada, it is an exceptional mission as Canadian astronaut Dave Williams performs three spacewalks, setting a Canadian record by spending over 19 hours outside the Space Station. Of note, Canadarm is outfitted with its Inspection Boom to survey the exterior of the Shuttle. On flight day 3, the Canadarm is used to perform a handover of the S5 truss segment with Canadarm2. Another handover is performed on flight day 7, as the Canadarm passes the External Stowage Platform 3 over to Canadarm2. Finally, the Canadarm performs another scan of the Shuttle using the Inspection Boom before landing.


During STS-120, Space Shuttle Discovery delivers the Italian-built U.S. Harmony module to the ISS. The Canadarm is used to remove Harmony from Discovery's payload bay and bring it into position beside the Unity module. The Canadarm again uses the Inspection Boom to scan the Shuttle.


The STS-122 Shuttle Mission saw the delivery and installation of the European Space Agency's Columbus Laboratory. The Canadarm lifts the laboratory out of its payload bay and moves it to the starboard side of the Station. Columbus is eventually activated and outfitted with experiment racks during the mission. The Inspection Boom is again employed to scan the exterior of the Shuttle.


Canadian robotics technology takes another leap forward as Space Shuttle Endeavour delivers Canada's robotic handyman, Dextre, to the ISS.

It also delivers the first component of the Kibo module.

The Canadarm is fitted with the Inspection Boom for a five-hour inspection of the Shuttle's wings and nose cap.


Space Shuttle Discovery delivers the pressurized Kibo module, a component so large that the extension boom had to be left behind on the Station to make room for it. To complete its check of the Space Shuttle before docking, the Canadarm uses two cameras installed on its ends. Later, after docking, the Shuttle is given a thorough check with the Inspection Boom attached.


Space Shuttle Endeavour rockets to the ISS with the Leonardo module in its payload bay. The Canadarm, with the Inspection Boom, performs the usual scan of the Shuttle's wings and nose cap.


This mission delivers to the Space Station the final set of solar arrays. The Canadarm, outfitted with the Inspection Boom, performs another flawless check of the Space Shuttle. Also, Canadarm2 takes the S6 truss segment out of the payload bay and hands it to the Canadarm. Later, the Station arm retrieves the truss from the Canadarm and installs it on the Space Station. This completes a double handover!


The crew of STS-125 repair and upgrade the Hubble Space Telescope, install the Wide Field Camera (which can "see" some of the earliest star systems) and extend the Hubble's lifespan until at least . Unique to this mission is the higher level of risk involved as Hubble's orbit contains considerably more debris than the Space Station's. Also, the crew cannot shelter themselves in the Station. This makes the Canadarm's regular inspection of the Shuttle that much more important. With the Inspection Boom attached, astronauts carefully examine the exterior of Space Shuttle Atlantis before and after the servicing of Hubble.

For its main mission task, the Canadarm captures the space telescope and places it on a rotating work stand in the payload bay. Once core mission objectives are complete, the Canadarm releases Hubble back into its orbit.


CSA astronaut Julie Payette was part of a multinational crew that completed assembly of Japan's Kibo laboratory. During mission ops, five spacewalks are performed and Canadian robotics figure prominently.

In a complex handover performed on flight day 4, Julie Payette uses Canadarm2 to pluck the Japanese porch out of the Shuttle Endeavour's cargo bay and hand it off to the Canadarm. Payette then mobilizes Canadarm2 to walk to another location on the laboratory so that it can position itself to take back the porch from the Canadarm. It then installs it onto the Kibo module. Later on Flight Day 7, Payette commands the Canadarm to lift the carrier that contains two new Japanese experiments from the Shuttle's cargo bay and pass it over to Canadarm2, which installs it onto the newly delivered Japanese porch.

The Canadarm also performs its nominal scan of the Shuttle using the Inspection Boom.


The main payload for Space Shuttle Discovery is the Leonardo cargo module, which is loaded with equipment and supplies for the ISS. Among items delivered to the Station include the Colbert treadmill, the Material Science Research Rack and a room for Canadian astronaut Robert Thirsk.

Equipped with the Inspection Boom, the Canadarm performs its usual check of the Space Shuttle's heat shield.


Shuttle Mission STS-129 features an over thirteen-and-a-half thousand kilogram payload of spare parts stored in the two Express Logistics Carriers (ELC) stowed in the cargo bay of Space Shuttle Atlantis.

The Canadarm is used to grab the ELC 1 from Atlantis' payload bay. It then hands the carrier over to Canadarm2 to be installed on the Station. Later during the mission the Shuttle arm will perform the same task on ELC 2.

The Canadarm, equipped with the Inspection Boom, scans the Shuttle's wing edges and nose cap.


Space Shuttle Endeavour brings a new view to the Space Station with the cupola payload it carries on board. This observation module and the Tranquility Node 3 were grappled by Canadarm2 and attached to the Station.

The Canadarm performed its usual duty, using the Inspection Boom to scan the Shuttle's heat shield after launch and before landing.


Shuttle Mission STS-131 features three spacewalks and the delivery of supplies and equipment to the Space Station. Dextre, the Space Station's robotic handyman, was the recipient of some of this equipment.

The Canadarm performs its usual inspection of the Space Shuttle, using the Inspection Boom to scan Discovery's heat shield.


Space Shuttle Atlantis delivers the Integrated Cargo Carrier and the Russian Mini Research Module Rassvet ("dawn") to the ISS.

The Canadarm and Canadarm2 work together to install Rassvet.

The Canadarm scans the Shuttle with its Inspection Boom to ensure the safe return of the crew.

to today


The STS-133 mission is the final flight for Space Shuttle Discovery. Both the Permanent Multipurpose Module and the Express Logistics Carrier 4 (ELC-4) are delivered to the Station.

The Canadarm performs a handover of the ELC-4 to Canadarm2. It also scans the Shuttle using the Inspection Boom after launch and before landing.


STS-134, a 16-day mission, marked the historic last flight of Shuttle Endeavour, a vehicle that had completed 25 flights over the course of its lifespan.

During STS-134 the Canadarm and Canadarm2 were used to successfully unload and install the Express Logistics Carrier-3 and the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer-2.


Mission STS-135 marked a turning point in space history as Shuttle Atlantis performed the last flight of the Space Shuttle Program.

The 13-day mission to the International Space Station (ISS) delivered the Raffaello multi-purpose logistics module containing supplies, logistics and spare parts.

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