Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.
2008 June 11
Explanation: What's the world's most complex space robot doing up there? Last week, Dextre was imaged moving atop the Destiny Laboratory Module of the International Space Station (ISS), completing tasks prior to the deployment of Japan's Kibo pressurized science laboratory. Dextre, short for the Canadian-built Special Purpose Dextrous Manipulator, has arms three metres in length and can attach power tools as fingers. Behind Dextre is the blackness of space, while Earth looms over Dextre's head. The Kibo laboratory segment being deployed during space shuttle Discovery's trip to the ISS can be pressurized and contains racks of scientific experiment that will be used to explore many things, including how plants brace themselves against gravity, and how water might be inhibited from freezing in cells under microgravity.
Authors & editors:
Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)
NASA Official: Phillip Newman Specific rights apply.
A service of: ASD at NASA / GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.