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79 votes

How did Canada come to be the robotic arm people?

I think there is a better answer than just saying "Politics". That is just too glib and shallow. There is obviously more substantial reasons behind the development and use of Canadarm than ...
Brian Tompsett - 汤莱恩's user avatar
28 votes
Accepted

Can the Mars lander's/rover's solar panels be cleaned?

Reasons not to provide mechanical means to clean solar panels on Mars: and this is the primary reason: Wind on Mars occasionally blows the dust away. This means dust is not a major issue, but a minor ...
Hobbes's user avatar
  • 128k
26 votes
Accepted

How did Canada come to be the robotic arm people?

Politics. Business concerns require a small, tightly integrated supply chain. Paying attention to this is one of the many reasons for the successes of the Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (...
David Hammen's user avatar
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15 votes
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What is the user interface of SSRMS

Like the SSRMS itself, it's rather complicated. The "control panel" is called the Robotics Workstation (RWS). There are two of them onboard the ISS. One is in the US Lab, the other in the ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
11 votes

How did Canada come to be the robotic arm people?

Good day all. I the hope that you find the following information valuable, from my memory: having worked on both programs as an engineer at the prime Canadian contractor SPAR (late on SRMS and at the ...
user24033's user avatar
  • 111
9 votes
Accepted

How many different walk-off maneuvers can the ISS robotic arm do?

I'll have to let you count them because there are some ambiguities that arise from the use of the Mobile Transporter (MT)...but here are the possible walk-offs. These are the fixed base-capable Power ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

What are robot arm singularities in the context of the Space Shuttle and/or ISS?

A singularity in this context is simply a configuration of the manipulator system in which a degree of freedom is lost. For example, for the Shuttle and ISS arms, the elbow singularity occurs when ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
6 votes

Can the Mars lander's/rover's solar panels be cleaned?

Answering the "what would work?" part of the question: I would use an electret haired brush which barely touches the surface of the solar panels. Electret filters are very effective in ...
Louis van Rijn's user avatar
5 votes
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Why don't robotic spacecraft have "general purpose" companions?

General purpose repair robots do not yet exist because the costs have not fallen below that of just launching new (upgraded) satellite that you can test and repair on the ground. The first challenge ...
GremlinWranger's user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

What have been the most common causes of mishaps or failures with various cubesat mechanisms & components?

This graph shows the common failure modes experienced during the first 100 cubesat missions. Note the large fraction of failed missions that never made contact with the ground after launch; no ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
4 votes

Can the Mars lander's/rover's solar panels be cleaned?

Supplementary answer, which is also somewhat complementary to both @Hobbes's extensive/exhaustive answer and @LouisvanRijn's intriguing answer and shows that their answers were spot-on! From Forbes....
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
4 votes
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Are robot arms ever used for attitude control in space?

In theory, yes. In practice, no. The problem is gimbal lock, which is problematic even for practical attitude controls that depend on moving masses such as reaction wheels or control moment gyros. ...
David Hammen's user avatar
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4 votes
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How many ISS robotic manipulators are shown in this image, and what are their names?

Three. SSRMS (Space Station Remote Manipulator System) Dextre aka SPDM (Special Purpose Dextrous Manipulator) JEMRMS (Japanese Experiment Module Remote Manipulator System) The SPDM is pretty ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
3 votes
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Why wasn't the wind and thermal shield of Insight's deployable seismometer integrated into the instrument before deployment?

Lognonné et al. "SEIS: Insight’s Seismic Experiment for Internal Structure of Mars" 2019 is the definitive telling of the SEIS instrument, yet it does not fully explain why the two units ...
BrendanLuke15's user avatar
3 votes
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Do you need to operate laptop computers to run the ISS SSRMS robots Canadarm2 & Dextre? What if there's a pressure loss and you're wearing a suit?

Question A: Do you need to operate laptop computers to run the ISS SSRMS robots Canadarm2 & Dextre (i.e. the ISS' Mobile Servicing System)? Note: SSRMS = Space Station Remote Manipulator System In ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
3 votes

Why aren't ISS attitude control thrusters a "tool" picked up by robotic arms?

Thrusters have many components and subsystems directly linked to this ISS: moving them would add more constraints than fixing them and modifying the angle of incidence (like you currently can with ...
elle.delle's user avatar
3 votes

How many robots have been at, in, or on the ISS?

Here is a selection of robotic equipment that has been at/in/on the ISS, feel free to add additional references: Cell Biology Experiment Facility (CBEF) can autonomously control a centrifuge, among ...
3 votes
Accepted

Why doesn't InSight (seem to) have a wrist?

It actually does have a wrist joint. To quote NASA's about the lander page: The arm is 5 feet 9 inches (1.8 meters) long, with shoulder, elbow and wrist joints and four motors. The grapple is at ...
Hans's user avatar
  • 3,566
3 votes

Are robot arms ever used for attitude control in space?

A qualified Yes. At least it has been attempted. above: "Figure 8: Attitude control model of the daughter sub-satellite by the arm link technique (image credit: Kagawa University)" from here. above:...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
2 votes

What have been the most common causes of mishaps or failures with various cubesat mechanisms & components?

This question mixes up a few concepts. First, something being "flight proven" in a cubesat is far different from being "flight proven" in a traditional large spacecraft. It is not being successful in ...
Mefitico's user avatar
  • 1,987
2 votes

Are robot arms ever used for attitude control in space?

A Variable Speed Control Moment Gyro (or VSCMG) provides somewhat similar mechanism of the rotating arm, while also having a reaction wheel at the end of it. It's perfectly explained by Dr. Schaub in ...
ChrisR's user avatar
  • 6,180
2 votes

Are robot arms ever used for attitude control in space?

No. Instead of using a complicated robot arm that already has a task, much simpler and cheaper reaction wheels are used.
Hobbes's user avatar
  • 128k
2 votes
Accepted

What are the sounds in this GoPro-in-orbit ISS video?

Those sounds are undoubtedly the microphone simply picking up (via conduction) random vibrations in the camera body due to handling. Interestingly, the audio track appears to be out of sync from the ...
Tristan's user avatar
  • 17.3k

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