Skip to comments.Google doodle celebrates Canadarm
Posted on 11/13/2012 7:39:10 PM PST by Squawk 8888
Canada's enduring contribution to space exploration is the focus of Tuesday's Google doodle.
The Canadarm made its operational debut on Nov. 13, 1981, on the Space Shuttle Columbia (mission STS-2). It was retired 30 years later, after its 90th flight, on mission STS-135.
"The arm is out and it works beautifully," pilot Richard Truly reported to Mission Control after deploying the "Remote Manipulator System" for the first time. "Its movements are much more flexible than they appeared during training simulations."
Images beamed back to terra firma about an hour later showed Canadarm, as described by the Canadian Space Agency, "bent in an inverted V shape position that shines against the black-jet background of space and a milky blue Earth."
That image is re-created in the Google doodle tribute the image above the search field at google.ca.
In 2001, the Canadarm2 was deployed to build the International Space Station, where it remains permanently to help with the station's maintenance and upkeep.
That arm was very useful, and served the shuttle (and space station) really well. In your photo, an astronaut is attached to the arm to do some work. In the early shuttle days, they created an astronaut jet pack for maneuvering outside the spacecraft. That lasted one test trip, because NASA realized they could just strap an astronaut to the arm and he would be much safer, yet still be maneuverable. That, and some guide wires in the shuttle bay, were what they used for the rest of the shuttle lifetime.
Should I give a Canadamn or a Canadarm? :)