Canadian Space Robot Repairs International Space Station

R2D2 may look better, but Dextre the Canadian handyman can successfully repair a circuit breaker more than 200 miles away from Earth

dextre.jpg

Dextre, a headless two-armed robot, has successfully completed repairs to a faulty circuit breaker on the outside of the orbiting International Space Station. The robot, named because of its notable dexterity, is Canada's contribution to the 15-nation mission.

Prior to Dextre's arrival at the Space Station, such a fix-it job would have required an astronaut to go on a spacewalk. Setting a robot to the task frees up time for the astronauts and is also safer. Dextre's latest task took 29 hours to complete and was controlled remotely by a team based in Houston.

Dextre began the mission by retrieving a Remote Power Control Module from a cargo container with one arm. It then removed a broken RPCM from the side of the station and replaced it with the new one. The robot put the old RPCM into the cargo container. NASA says the new RPCM is functioning well.

Image: NASA.

Presented by

Rebecca J. Rosen is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where she oversees the Business Channel. She was previously an associate editor at The Wilson Quarterly.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

A Stop-Motion Tour of New York City

A filmmaker animated hundreds of still photographs to create this Big Apple flip book

Video

The Absurd Psychology of Restaurant Menus

Would people eat healthier if celery was called "cool celery?"

Video

This Japanese Inn Has Been Open For 1,300 Years

It's one of the oldest family businesses in the world.

Video

What Happens Inside a Dying Mind?

Science cannot fully explain near-death experiences.

More in Technology

Just In