When the shuttle Endeavour launches at 2:28am tomorrow, it will carry what has been pure sci-fi until now: a giant space robot. After astronauts assemble it, Canada’s Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator, known as “Dextre,” will roam the outside of the International Space Station completing repairs considered too dangerous for spacewalkers, the Houston Chronicle reports.
"When you see it on the side of the space station, it will look like this giant hood ornament, " says one astronaut. The $209 million, 12-foot-tall robot looks a little like Gigantor, with arms stretching 11 feet. “It’s intimidating,” said another astronaut, but “I would not go so far as to say we are worried it will run amok.” Dextre doesn’t think for itself; astronauts will guide it from within the station.