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ICT Spring - 2022

Airbus-built European Robotic Arm ready to fly to ISS

Paris, 6 July 2021. – Ready to reach out: Europe’s robotic arm for the International Space Station (ISS) is ready for its flight and task, Airbus said.

Airbus space engineers have installed the European Robotic Arm (ERA) onto the Russian Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) and it is now ready for its flight to the ISS from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, Airbus said. The arm will service the Russian segment of the ISS.

With a total length of 11.3 metres, the symmetrical, two-handed intelligent robot arm can ‘walk’ around the exterior of the ISS, Airbus said.

Astronauts and cosmonauts can control the arm in real-time or pre-programme it from inside or outside the ISS, to make it move payloads, inspect the space station with its infrared cameras or support operations outside the ISS.

Thanks to the zero-gravity conditions in space, it can move very large masses: up to 8 tons, in slow modus, Airbus said. The robot arm operates with an accuracy of 5 millimeters.

ERA has been developed for European Space Agency (ESA) by a European consortium, led by Airbus Defence and Space in the Netherlands.

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