Robot trial in space a success

March 14, 2012 at 6:57 PM
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GREENBELT, Md., March 14 (UPI) -- NASA says experiments aboard the International Space Station with robots show they can perform precise satellite-servicing tasks in space.

The robotic refueling mission marks a milestone in the use of the space station as a technology test bed, the agency said in a release Tuesday.

The Canadian Space Agency's robotic handyman, Dextre, successfully completed its tasks March 7-9 on an external module of the space station. The procedure was designed to demonstrate the tools, technologies and techniques needed to robotically refuel and repair satellites.

Dextre successfully retrieved and inspected tools, released safety launch locks on tool adapters, and used a tool to cut extremely thin lock wire such as might be found on a satellite needing servicing or repair, NASA said.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden hailed the successful trial.

"We and our partners are making important technological breakthroughs," Bolden said. "As we move ahead toward reaching our exploration goals, we will realize even more benefits from humans and robots working together in space."

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