NASA: Robots critical to Endeavour's mission on space station
Two robots will work as a team and one robotic arm is set to 'walk' outside of ISS
Computerworld - The crew of the space shuttle Endeavour is getting ready to launch into what NASA is calling its most technical mission yet - one that will call on the power of three separate robots.
The highly complex mission will include five spacewalks, the use of three robotic arms, two working together and one that will actually "walk" across the outside of the space station.
Holly Ridings, lead space station flight director for the Endeavour mission, said it is one of the most technical undertaken by NASA. The mission goals couldn't be reached, she added, without the use of NASA robotics technology.
"The length of the mission, the five spacewalks, the robotics used almost every single day and 13 crew members makes it a big puzzle and all those pieces need to fit together correctly to get everything done," said Ridings, adding that NASA space missions will become increasingly dependent on robots.
"We have learned a lot about robotics and about working together with robot," she said. "Our spacewalkers are involved in activities while the robotic arms are looking at them and giving us camera views. The choreography of the different robotic arms is really complicated, and we've learned a lot about it and we do it well. Robotics is really one of the things that NASA has a lot of experience in and it's allowing us to do some wonderful things on the space station."
Endeavour is scheduled to dock with the space station early Monday morning. Then the real hard work begins on Tuesday when two astronauts will take the mission's first spacewalk with the help of two robotic arms.
Ridings explained that as the astronauts begin their work outside the space station, a robotic arm will lift a 4-ton piece of the Japanese complex out of the shuttle's payload bay. This piece, which has been dubbed a "front porch", will be permanently attached to the outside of the Japanese module. It is designed to hold its own payloads, as well as host experiments that need to be conducted in outer space.
Once the station's robotic appendage called the big arm has extracted the porch from the shuttle, it will be handed off to the space shuttle's own robotic arm. While the shuttle's arm holds the porch, the station's arm will move itself about 50 feet down the length of the space station by basically moving much like a child's Slinky toy.
This pilot fish is a contractor at a military base, working on some very cool fire-control systems for tanks. But when he spots something obviously wrong during a live-fire test, he can't get the firing-range commander's attention.
- IT Certification Study Tips
- Register for this Computerworld Insider Study Tip guide and gain access to hundreds of premium content articles, cheat sheets, product reviews and more.
- Reduce federal infrastructure risk with compliance management and situational awareness
- IBM continuous monitoring and management solutions deliver real-time situational awareness to help federal agencies understand vulnerabilities, and protect the infrastructure.
- 5 Customers Deliver Virtual Desktops and Apps to Empower a Modern Workforce
- Learn how Citrix solutions helped 5 companies realize the full value of desktop virtualization through a project-by-project approach based on key business priorities.
- Top 10 Reasons to Strengthen Information Security with Desktop Virtualization
- Regain control and reduce risk without sacrificing business productivity and growth
- IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Client Virtualization Software 2013 Vendor Assessment
- IDC has placed Citrix in the 2013 IDC MarketScape Leaders Category once again noting that, "Citrix's position reflects the company's market leadership and...
- Infographic: Top Use Cases for Desktop Virtualization
- A wide range of business issues is driving IT toward desktop virtualization. One solution-Citrix XenDesktop with FlexCast technology-helps IT teams empower their entire... All Government IT White Papers
- What Does it Take to Deliver a Superior Customer Experience? The Two Top-Rated Online Retailers, B&H Photo and Crutchfield Electronics, Share Their Secrets Discuss practical CX tools and service methods such as contact center agents and the use of realtime speech analytics to help contact center...
- Keep Servers Up and Running and Attackers in the Dark An SSL/TLS handshake requires at least 10 times more processing power on a server than on the client. SSL renegotiation attacks can readily...
- On Demand: Mastering the Art of Mobile Content Management Mobile device usage in the enterprise has skyrocketed, and it continues to escalate. IT must answer to users who demand access to their...
- DevOps with PureApplication System: Reduce cost and speed delivery with an integrated IBM Cloud solution Join this webcast to hear what ING Netherlands has been able to achieve while deploying DevOps tools from IBM Rational. An ING executive...
- NSS Labs & Cisco Present: Evaluating Leading Breach Detection Systems Today's constantly evolving advanced malware and APTs can evade point-in-time defenses to penetrate networks. Security professionals must evolve their strategy in lockstep to...
- All Government IT Webcasts