SPAR Aerospace and Canadarm Essay By Lucxsan The company SPAR Aerospace and the famous Canadarm was a very important contribution from Canada, to the international space station. Without the creation of the Canadarm, the space technology would not be at this level. “The Canadarm was a remote-controlled mechanical arm, also known as the Shuttle Remote Manipulator System (SRMS)”1.The Canadarm was a very useful tool to the astronauts. During the 30 years of use, the Canadarm “deployed, captured and repaired satellites, positioned astronauts, maintained equipment, and moved cargo”2.
The Canadarm was a very complex device. Some people thought of it as a 15-meter human arm, with a wrist, elbow, and a shoulder. With each joint included a JOD (joint one-degree-of-freedom). “A JOD was a motor-driven gearbox that allowed the Canadarm to bend and turn with more flexibility than even a human arm”3. In order for the astronauts to operate this device, a TV camera is located on the robotic arm’s wrist, and also on its elbow.
The Canadarm was a very heavy device, it weighed 410 kilograms, and was able to lift over 30,000 kilograms on Earth, and up to 266,000 kilograms in space. In order for the Canadarm to handle these weights, SPAR Aerospace used the latest aerospace materials, including stainless steel, titanium and ultra-high-modulus graphite-epoxy. “The arm was entirely covered with a multi-layer insulation system consisting of alternate layers of goldized Kapton, Dacron scrim cloth, and a Beta cloth (fibre glass) outer covering”.4
The total cost for the development of the Canadarm was $110-million. This was largely carried out by the Canadian industry, SPAR Aerospace! “(The Space Robotics Division of SPAR Aerospace was acquired by MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. In 1999)”.5 On February 1981, the Canadarm was signed over to NASA at the SPAR’s Toronto plant, where it was built. It was later sent to the Kennedy...
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