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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Endeavour Astronauts Assembling New Canadian-made Robot, In Orbit

The second of five space walks to assemble a new robotic appendage to the International Space Station (ISS) was carried out Saturday and lasted 7 hours. The new robot, named Dextre (short for dexterous) spent two days protected with a thermal blanket because it was unable to draw power from the ISS because of a faulty wire on it's staging platform. The move was required because it was feared that the -128.88 degrees Celcius temperatures of space would cause Dextre's joints and other components to freeze and stop working. Check out this animation from the Canadian Space Agency and you'll understand where Dextre gets his name, you also get an appreciation for the size of ISS!