Canadarm2 on the Job

Press Release From: Canadian Space Agency
Posted: Sunday, April 14, 2002

Saint-Hubert, Quebec, April 12, 2002 - Marc Garneau, President of the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) reports that Canadarm2 successfully completed yesterday's operations on the International Space Station as planned. Mission Specialist Ellen Ochoa, assisted by Expedition Four Flight Engineer Dan Bursch, operated Canadarm2 to lift a major truss segment out and away from Shuttle Atlantis' cargo bay and attach it on the Destiny laboratory module of the International Space Station. Canadarm2 was then used for the first time to move Mission Specialist Rex Walheim to different worksites around the newly installed truss segment during the first spacewalk of mission STS-110, which lasted 7 hours and 48 minutes.

Teams of engineers from the CSA and MD Robotics, prime contractor for Canadarm2, were closely monitoring the arm's first major assembly activity since an anomaly was detected on one of its joints several weeks ago. The engineers developed a software patch that successfully bypassed the joint in the arm's primary channel. In actual fact, Canadarm2's secondary channel was used to execute all of yesterday's operations. "Canadarm2 is a unique and highly complex robot working in an extremely hostile environment. Problems are bound to occur and are part of the normal course of space activities. Thanks to the team of engineers in St. Hubert and Brampton, Canadarm2 operations went smoothly and flawlessly yesterday," said Garneau.

To return Canadarm2 to full redundancy, a spare joint will be transported to the Station onboard Mission STS-111, scheduled to launch May 31. On this mission, two astronauts will replace the malfunctioning wrist roll joint during a spacewalk. They are currently being trained for this new task. "We have anticipated this type of situation, that's why Canadarm2 has been designed in a way that allows astronauts to replace its parts on orbit during its lifetime, and why spare components are ready to go at a moment's notice, " added Garneau. Mission STS-111 will also transport the second major Canadian element to the ISS: the Mobile Base System. About the Canadian Space Agency

Established in 1989 with its headquarters situated in Saint-Hubert, Quebec, the Canadian Space Agency co-ordinates all aspects of the Canadian Space Program. Through its Space Knowledge, Applications and Industry Development business line, the CSA delivers services involving: Earth and the Environment; Space Science; Human Presence in Space; Satellite Communications; Space Technology; Space Qualification Services and Awareness. The Canadian Space Agency is at the forefront of the development and application of space knowledge for the benefit of Canadians and humanity.


For more information:

Monique Billette
Media Relations Officer
Canadian Space Agency
Telephone: (450) 926-4370

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