Oct 16, 2007

The Shuttle Remote Manipulator System

The Shuttle Remote Manipulator System (SRMS), or Canadarm, is a mechanical arm used on the Space Shuttle to maneuver a payload from the payload bay of the orbiter to its deployment position and then release it. It can also grapple a free-flying payload, maneuver it to the payload bay of the orbiter and berth it in the orbiter.

Since its first usage during STS-2 in 1981 on Columbia, the SRMS has been used on over 50 shuttle missions. It was first flown on Challenger during STS-7 in 1983. Then in 1984 it was first used aboard Discovery during STS-41-D, Discovery's first flight. It was used on Atlantis first during STS-61-B. The SRMS onboard Challenger was lost during the Challenger disaster in 1986. An SRMS was then next used on Endeavour during STS-49.

Since the installation of the Canadarm2 on the International Space Station, the two arms have been used to hand over segments of the station for assembly from the SRMS to the Canadarm2; the use of both elements in tandem has earned the nickname of 'Canadian Handshake' in the media.

Following the Columbia disaster, the SRMS has been used on every space shuttle flight to inspect the heat shield for damage that may have been caused during launch. It is likely that the arm will be a part of all future shuttle missions. Images from NASA Link


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...