Collection Item Summary:
This jointed robotic arm, known as the Canadarm or Remote Manipuplator System arm was used to move payloads and position astronauts working outside the Space Shuttle or International Space Station. Attached to the payload bay sill of the shuttle orbiter and remotely operated by an astronaut at a control station inside the spacecraft, the arm has shoulder, elbow, and wrist joints plus an end effector that serves as a grappling hand. Television cameras mounted on the arm assist the operator in precisely controlling its movements. Although it can lift large masses in space, the arm cannot support its own weight on Earth.
This Canadarm flew on 15 missions and four orbiters from 1994 through 2011, including Discovery’s last six missions, all to the International Space Station. The Canadian Space Agency supplied robotic arms for the shuttle and space station programs. NASA delivered this arm separately with Discovery in 2012 rather than leave it installed inside the spacecraft so visitors could view it on display.