It's Supposed to Fit: Assembling Your Space Robot
Jordan Yerman | March 16, 2008 at 06:52 amby
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Firefly than Star Trek.At least the power problem was solved, and Dextre appears to work:Dextre image via NASA￼
The Canadian-built robot, named Dextre, will stand 12 feet and have a mass of 3,400 pounds when it's fully assembled. It is designed to assist spacewalking astronauts andpossibly someday take over some of the tougher chores, like lugging around big replacement parts.The already challenging outing turned grueling as Richard Linnehan and fellow spacewalker Michael Foreman struggled to release one of the robot's arms from the transport bed where it had been latched down for launch.Two of the bolts wouldn't budge, even when the astronauts banged on them and yanked as hard as they could. They had to use a pry bar to get it out.The other arm came out much more smoothly and quickly, paving the way for Linnehan to pull up Dextre's body 60 degrees, like Frankenstein rising from his bed. That was the ideal position for plugging in Dextre's gangly arms to its shoulders.
"Dextre is doing muchbetter," said astronaut Garrett Reisman, who performed the first spacewalk with Linnehan on Thursday night."When he's all put together, he looks a lot like a person," he added. "He's got two arms, a body, a head, and he is designed to do basically the same things that we do on a spacewalk."At the same time, Reisman considers Dextre a little scary and monstrous-looking. Before the flight, he likened it to Frankenstein's monster coming alive.
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