Canadarm2: Spacewalking astronauts gives International Space Station’s Canadian robotic arm a new hand

09 October 2017, 09:16 AM
Spacewalking astronauts gives ISS Canadian robotic arm a new hand (Image: Twitter)
Spacewalking astronauts gives ISS Canadian robotic arm a new hand (Image: Twitter)

In a new operation conducted on October 5, two NASA astronauts, Randy Bresnik and Mark Vande Hei, performed service action to help keep Canadarm2 operational. 

The astronauts have fixed the latching mechanism on the end of the Canadian robotic arm which was not functioning properly. The duo was tasked to replace the arm.

The two NASA astronauts Randy Bresnik and Mark Vande Hei’s spacewalk is the first of the three planned for October.

“All right, gentlemen, we show a good arm,” Mission Control radioed.

“That is great news, Houston,” Mr Bresnik said. “Much rejoicing.” This bulky bundle of latches more than a metre long is used to grab visiting spacecraft and provides power and data. The arm can also move like an inchworm across the space station by grabbing onto special fixtures.

They duo have been assigned to revolve around getting the Canadian robotic arm in good shape for doing work outside ISS.

According to experts, the arm is known as Canadarm2. It is one of the most crucial tools on the ISS. The arm is like a dexterous snake-like instrument that extends up to nearly 60 feet in the space and grabs the large object.

The snake-like instrument was launched in 2001. The Canadarm2 has started experiencing some wear and tear. Two latching mechanisms at each end of the arm, called Latching End Effectors (LEE) have been deteriorating.

On of the LEE is typical stays attached to the ISS, anchoring the arm to the station while other is extended out into space to grab objects

Bresnik’s third spacewalk and the first for Vande Hei. The pair was scheduled to emerge from the ISS at 8:10 AM ET, and likely work on the replacement for the entire six and a half hours.

The duo astronauts will do a second spacewalk to lubricate the replaced LEE and replace a camera on the outside of the station. The duo astronauts will be joined by another astronaut Joe Acaba on October 10.

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First Published: Monday, October 09, 2017 09:03 AM
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