Canadian Manufacturing

Canadian-made robot repairs itself in space

The repairs lay the foundation for future missions when robots will be sent to repair, refuel and reposition orbiting satellites



LONGUEUIL, Que.—Over the next seven days, the Canadian Space Agency’s (CSA) robot Dextre, which operates aboard the International Space Station, will perform the first-ever robotic self-repair in space.

Dextre will replace two cameras on Canadarm2 and the mobile base, which together form the three main components of Canada’s Mobile Servicing System.

The operations, including preparation and replacement of the cameras, can be followed live on Twitter and viewed via streaming video on Ustream.

In addition to repairing and replacing two cameras used for robotic operations, the CSA says Dextre’s task has far-reaching implications for what robots could do in the future.

The work done by Dextre in the coming week will lay the foundation for the future when one day, robots will be sent to repair, refuel and reposition orbiting satellites. On-orbit robotic servicing could therefore save satellite operators from the significant costs of building and launching new replacement satellites, and help reduce space debris.

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