31st Anniversary of the Canadarm

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Canadian space robotics has a rich history that spans over three decades. The Shuttle Remote Manipulator System (SRMS), better known affectionately as the Canadarm 1, was deployed in 1981 to help maneuver payloads from the cargo bay of the Space Shuttle and then release into orbit. The Canadarm alongside the Orbiter Boom Sensor System, played a key role in the Shuttle’s return to flight after the loss of Columbia.

The six-jointed manipulator played a pivotal role in revolutionizing the capabilities of space robotics. The arm can move around similar to a human arm and captures a payload with an ‘end effector’. The SRMS paved the way for future manipulators including the Canadarm 2 (SSRMS), the Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator (SPDM), and more recently the Next Generation Canadarm (NGC) project, which is the catalyst for the future of on-orbit satellite servicing.

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