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A 'robot arm' to fly to International Space Station

  • Category
    Science & Technology
  • Published
    19th Jul, 2021

The European Space Agency (ESA) is preparing to send a robotic arm outside the planet to the International Space Station (ISS).

Context

The European Space Agency (ESA) is preparing to send a robotic arm outside the planet to the International Space Station (ISS).

  • The European Robotic Arm (ERA) is headed towards the Russian segment of the space station, where it will remain in service.

About

About the Robotic Arm

  • The robotic arm is installed into the new Russian multipurpose laboratory module, also known as 'Nauka'.
  • The module will be launched from the BaikonurCosmodrome in Kazakhstan on a Proton rocket by Roscosmos, the Russian space agency.
  • It is much like a human arm. It has an elbow, shoulders, and even wrists.
  • The European Robotic Arm (ERA) is the first robot able to ‘walk’ around the Russian segment of the International Space Station.
  • The orbital arm has the ability to anchor itself to the station and move back and forward by itself, hand-over-hand between fixed base-points.
  • This space robot looks like a pair of compasses and has a length of over 11m. When stretched, it could pass a football from a penalty spot to the goalkeeper.
  • The robotic arm in space will be able to handle multi-tonne payloads with a large range of motion for assembly tasks.
  • 'Smart spacewalker' will serve as the "main manipulator" on the Russian segment of the International Space Station.

International Space Station

  • A space station is essentially a large spacecraft which remains in low-earth orbit for extended periods of time.
  • It is like a large laboratory in space, and allows astronauts to come aboard and stay for weeks or months to carry out experiments in microgravity.
  • The ISS has been in space since 1998, and has been known for the exemplary cooperation between the five participating space agencies that run it: NASA (United States), Roscosmos (Russia), JAXA (Japan), ESA (Europe), and CSA (Canada).

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