May 3, 2010 - An Arm by Any Other Name

An Arm by Any Other Name Call it what you will—the robot arm, the Remote Manipulator System, or the Canadarm—the most versatile appendage in all of space history got a big hand thirty-five years ago this week when NASA announced that the arm would be a gift from the Canadian Space Agency. Five fifty-foot long arms were built, each weighing a mere 900 pounds but capable of maneuvering payloads of 585,000 pounds in space. Among Canadarm’s notable achievements are the deployment (and subsequent retrieval for repair) of the Hubble Space Telescope, and assembly of the International Space Station. Canadarm, seen here behind the shuttle Endeavour during the STS-118 mission in August 2007, also helped deploy its larger ISS sibling, Canadarm2, seen in the foreground, in 2001.

Image credit: NASA

Weekly Calendar

May 3-9, 2010

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

Monday 3

2003: ISS Expedition Six crew returns to Earth after 161 days in orbit

Tuesday 4

Pallas at opposition
Venus 6° north of Aldebaran

1967: Lunar Orbiter IV launched
1989: STS-30 Atlantis launched, releases Magellan spacecraft
2002: Aqua satellite launched

Wednesday 5

Cinco de Mayo

Eta Aquarid meteor shower

1961: Freedom 7 suborbital flight; Alan Shepard is first American in space

Thursday 6

Last Quarter Moon 12:15 AM ET
Moon at apogee
Eta Aquarid meteor shower

1968: Neil Armstrong ejects safely from Lunar Landing Research Vehicle before it crashes
1975: NASA announces that Canada will build the Shuttle robot arm

Friday 7

Neptune 4° south of Moon

1992: STS-49 Endeavour launched

Saturday 8

Sunday 9

2003: Hayabusa launched, first mission to retrieve a sample from an asteroid

Suggestions for new history dates or better links? Corrections for errors on this page? Please e-mail me.