The space shuttle Endeavor is set to launch early tomorrow morning, dock with the ISS and install Dextre, a $200 million robot meant to assist astronauts during spacewalks (a brief overview can be found on CNN... leave it to the media, however, to try and forge a link between a robotic arm and Frankenstein's monster). Dextre is short for the Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator, built by Canadian Space Agency contractors to be included as part of Canada's contribution to the ISS. Although the tools and capabilities of the robot are rudimentary at this point, improvements and upgrades will follow with subsequent shuttle flights.
In the end, I think it's great to see countries collaborating together on large scientific projects, such as the ISS or the ILC. We may appear different, but we share our fundamental human curiosity, the driving force behind science. And that is a beautiful thing.
UPDATE: You get what you pay for, I suppose. I wonder if the ISS is running Windoze....
3 days ago