Canadian space robot Dextre on Nasa mission

By | March 10, 2008


A “monstrous” two-armed space robot will be assembled by astronauts later this week during a 16-day mission, Nasa’s longest.

Dextre, the robot, will arise like a science fiction “Frankenstein” from the space shuttle Endeavour’s transport bed. Garrett Reisman, one of seven astronauts who will blast off from Cape Canaveral early Tuesday morning, admitted that he was a little nervous about the 12-foot-high robot, with 11-foot arms and a shoulder span of nearly 8 feet.

“Now I wouldn’t go as far to say that we’re worried it’s going to go run amok and take over the space station or turn evil or anything because we all know how it’s operated and it doesn’t have a lot of its own intelligence,” he told AP news.

“But I’ll tell you something. He’s enormous and to see him with his giant arms, it is a little scary. It’s a little monstrous. Almost like it’s Frankenstein’s monster coming alive.”

Built by the Canadian Space Agency, Dextre – short for dexterous and pronounced like Dexter – will play and important role at the International Space Station, allowing the laboratory’s crew to manoeuvre large objects and perform delicate tasks without donning their spacesuits for time-consuming and potentially risky space walks. – telegraph


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