Artorius Castus

Spacewalkers add hands to space station

Posted in Uncategorized by Patrick Truax on March 14, 2008

Associated Press Writer

HOUSTON (AP) — Spacewalking astronauts added hands to a robot outside the international space station early Friday as experts on the ground devised a plan they hope will fix a problem getting power to the giant machine.

The Canadian robot, named Dextre, needs to have power to heat its joints, limbs and electronics. The $200 million machine designed to help maintain the orbiting outpost could be damaged if left cold for days.

Canadian engineers initially suspected the trouble could be with a timer, and they created the software patch to fix it.

But Pierre Jean, Canada’s acting space station program manager, said experts now believe the problem stems from a design flaw in the temporary cable that is supposed to provide power to Dextre until it is fully assembled.

If that’s the case, Jean said, Dextre should have no trouble powering up once the astronauts finish putting it together and install it on the station next week.

To be sure, the crew plans to hook up Dextre to the space station’s robotic arm later Friday. If the problem is with the temporary cables, Dextre should receive power from the arm. If it doesn’t, engineers will have to find another fix.

Hmmmm. A robot named Dextre causing trouble? Im not surprised. Dexter is the name of our cat. He can be quite troublesome. Read: Great Denver Incident…

Read more and see video at the AP…


2 Responses

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  1. Patrick Truax said, on March 14, 2008 at 10:26 pm

    Honey, where’s the cat?

  2. Catty Ax Lady said, on March 14, 2008 at 10:59 pm

    Yeah, this is not at all surprising. I guess news of the cat got to Pierre Jean and he figured it was the only appropriate name for the project. I agree wholeheartedly.

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