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Dextre Flexes It's Muscles And Gets Ready To Work On The ISS

This videograb provided by NASA shows US space shuttle Endeavour Mission Specialists US Rich Linnehan (L) and US Mike Foreman (Top C) installing a mechanical arm on March 16, 2008 to the Canadian Dextre robot (lower C) outside the International Space Station (ISS) during the second of five planned spacewalks. Photo courtesy AFP.
by Staff Writers
Longueuil, Canada (SPX) Mar 19, 2008
After a picture-perfect night launch on March 11 and three spacewalks to assemble it, Dextre was activated today. Canada's advanced, two-armed robot is now successfully installed on the International Space Station and ready for action. Endeavour's Canadarm lifted Dextre from its cradle in the Shuttle payload bay and handed it over to the International Space Station's Canadarm2 in a majestic manoeuvre known as the "Canadian handshake in space."

Now that Dextre is installed, Canada's Mobile Servicing System, an innovative suite of space robotics on the International Space Station, is complete. Dextre can be carried by two elements, the mobile base and Canadarm2, or move independently. Dextre adds robotic tools and a range of fine manipulation abilities to construction and maintenance operations on the Space Station, which is now much larger than in 2001 when Canadarm2 was installed. Dextre will accelerate assembly activities on the Station.

"Canadians everywhere can be proud of the ingenuity and innovation which have made Canada a space robotics leader," said the Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). "Our contribution to the International Space Station has opened doors for Canadian scientists and industry in a quest for discovery that has great potential for bringing real benefits to humanity."

Over the next few months, the two-armed robot will be heavily tested to validate its performance. The addition of Dextre means that astronauts can spend less time on spacewalks and more time inside the International Space Station on microgravity science and industrial research.

"The installation of Dextre marks the culmination of years of hard work by passionate and dedicated employees of the Canadian Space Agency and of our industry partners," said Guy Bujold, CSA President. "The team that brought Dextre to life is an example of true Canadian excellence. While Dextre extends the reach of Canadian robotics in space, its creators are inspiring young Canadians to reach for their dreams."

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Astronauts assemble Canadian robot on 7-hour walk
Washington (AFP) March 18, 2008
Two US astronauts finished assembling the Canadian robot Dextre on Tuesday during a nearly seven-hour space walk outside the International Space Station, NASA said.

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