NASA Sends Dextre to Fix the Hubble

Aug 11, 2004
DEXTRE

NASA has decided to try to save the orbiting Hubble Space Telescope by sending a Canadian-made robot Dextre to fix it, agency officials say. Dextre - formally the Special Purpose Dextrous Manipulator - is a complex robot designed to perform intricate maintenance and servicing tasks on the outside of the International Space Station (ISS). It has demonstrated to engineers that it's fully capable of replacing Hubble's failing hardware.

Earlier this week NASA reported that one of four science instruments aboard NASA's Hubble's Space Telescope suspended operations, and engineers are now looking into possible recovery options.

NASA has decided to service the Hubble Space Telescope using a robotic repairman to change batteries and gyroscopes. Everybody says, 'We want to save the Hubble' -- well, let's go save the Hubble," said NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe.

Researchers at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland are instructed to begin serious work to put the robotic mission into space in 2007. It will cost at least $1 billion and possibly $1.6 billion to save the telescope.

About Dextre
Dextre is a sophisticated dual armed robot, which is part of Canada's contribution to the International Space Station (ISS). Along with Canadarm2, whose technical name is the Space Station Remote Manipulator System, and a moveable work platform called the Mobile Base System, these three elements form a robotic system called the Mobile Servicing System (MSS). The three components have been designed to work together or independently.

Dextre is an essential tool for maintaining and servicing the space station. With its dual-arm design providing added flexibility, Dextre will remove and replace smaller components on the Station’s exterior, where precise handling is required. It will be equipped with lights, video equipment, a tool platform and four tool holders.

Dextre can perform dexterous tasks by sensing various forces and moments on the payload. In response, it can automatically compensate its movements to ensure the payload is manipulated smoothly.

With its two arms, Dextre will load and unload objects, use robotic tools, attach and detach covers and install various units of the Space Station. It also has four cameras that will provide the crew inside the Station with additional views of the work areas.

Explore further: Bad weather delays Japan asteroid probe lift off

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

NASA's new winds mission installed, gathers first data

Oct 09, 2014

NASA's newest Earth observing mission, the International Space Station-Rapid Scatterometer, or ISS-RapidScat, is collecting its first science data on ocean wind speeds and direction following its successful ...

Robotic refueling mission practices new tasks

May 13, 2013

(Phys.org) —With a historic robotic refueling demo ticked off its checklist, NASA's Robotic Refueling Mission (RRM) put down the hose and picked up the screwdriver and utility knife. This latest round of ...

Recommended for you

Bad weather delays Japan asteroid probe lift off

2 hours ago

Bad weather will delay the launch of a Japanese space probe on a six-year mission to mine a distant asteroid, just weeks after a European spacecraft's historic landing on a comet captivated the world.

Manchester scientists boost NASA's missions to Mars

11 hours ago

Computer Scientists from The University of Manchester have boosted NASA space missions by pioneering a global project to develop programs that efficiently test and control NASA spacecraft.

ESA image: The gold standard

11 hours ago

The Eutelsat-9B satellite with its EDRS-A payload is shown in the anechoic test chamber of Airbus Defence and Space in Toulouse, France, having completed its final antenna pattern tests today.

Frost-covered chaos on Mars

11 hours ago

Thanks to a break in the dusty 'weather' over the giant Hellas Basin at the beginning of this year, ESA's Mars Express was able to look down into the seven kilometre-deep basin and onto the frosty surface ...

Rosetta's comet: In the shadow of the coma

18 hours ago

This NAVCAM mosaic comprises four individual images taken on 20 November from a distance of 30.8 km from the centre of Comet 67P/C-G. The image resolution is 2.6 m/pixel, so each original 1024 x 1024 pixel ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.