Posted: Friday, December 1, 2000
MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. is proud that the Canadarm, designed and developed by the company's subsidiary, MD Robotics, is about to install the largest and most complex piece of Space Station hardware, the giant solar arrays that will quintuple the station's electrical power.
Immediately after the scheduled December 2nd docking of Space Shuttle Endeavour with the International Space Station, Canadian Astronaut Marc Garneau will operate the Canadarm to lift the 17-ton structure out of the shuttle cargo bay and hold it in position for approximately 20 hours to control its temperature. Exercising the full reach of the arm, Garneau will then skillfully position the truss to be assembled to the existing framework of the station. With the building blocks in place, Canadarm will support three spacewalks to complete power and data connections and to relocate a communications antenna on the new truss segment.
Dr. Garneau is a veteran Canadarm operator, having used the Canadian- built robotic arm on his second mission, STS-77, in May 1996 to deploy and retrieve a satellite.
Mag Iskander, vice president and general manager of MD Robotics commented, "Canada continues to play an integral role in manned space missions. We have developed the robotic systems to meet the needs of the U.S. Space Shuttle and the International Space Station and are looking beyond with robotic systems designed to meet the needs of future missions to the Moon and Mars."
"Recent upgrades to Canadarm have prepared the system for the demanding Space Station assembly tasks planned over the next several years," said Sam Higson, director of shuttle programs. "As the Space Station assembly progresses, Canadarm is going to be busier than ever!"
Early in 2001, construction of the Space Station will employ two generations of Canadian robotic technology when the new generation Canadarm is launched. The new Canadarm, or Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) was developed by MD Robotics under contract to the Canadian Space Agency. The Space Station Remote Manipulator System, Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator and Mobile Base System are the primary components of the Mobile Servicing System, Canada's contribution to the International Space Station.
About MD Robotics
MD Robotics, a subsidiary of MacDonald Dettwiler, is the world's leading space robotics company, committed to offering hi-tech, sophisticated robotic and engineering solutions for space and terrestrial applications.
Note to editors:
For a STS-97 Mission Briefing and computer generated animation visit our web site: www.mdrobotics.ca
Related web site: www.mda.ca
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