Dextre Stretches His Limbs

Astronauts test space robot, find minor hiccup
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 17, 2008 10:30 AM CDT
Graphic gives details about NASA's Dextre robot.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Dextre, the International Space Station’s own gigantic space robot, flexed its mighty arms for the first time last night, the Houston Chronicle reports. Astronauts put the bot through its paces, moving and stopping each of its 14 arm joints. Dextre mostly passed the test; every joint moved perfectly save one, which took longer to brake than expected.

Canada’s space agency, which created Dextre, is confident that more use will smooth out the joint problem. “We are ready to bring Dextre to life,” joked one astronaut. The robot isn’t quite complete, however. A spacewalk tonight will finish the job, arming Dextre with a toolbelt and tools. Then, Dextre will await his first assignment, which might not come until next spring.