Science Alive! Episode 1: The Canadarm

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Dave Schellenberg with Erin Gregory

It has travelled 624 million kilometers, and landed at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum. Dave is joined by assistant curator, Erin Gregory to discuss the adventures of our nation’s favourite limb- the Canadarm.

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when you've come to the Canada aviation
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and Space Museum you can see hundreds of
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pieces of history but there's one that
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you cannot miss it looks it is it's
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Aaron Gregory with the Canada aviation
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and Space Museum hello Aaron so what are
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we standing in front of we're standing
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in front of the very first Canada arm
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the very first Canada so we did this
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bone to space it went into space for the
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first time in 1981 right and retired in
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2011 30 years and how many times does it
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go into space it went to space 23 times
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I travelled 153 million kilometers Wow
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yeah can we touch it no why not it went
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into space well of course but people you
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know picking at it and tearing the
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blankets and the wires you know we don't
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have maintenance crews for that this is
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basically handmade that's right yeah it
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was built over the course of the 70s and
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/ swing space in the early 80s and had a
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very long illustrious career now how
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many parts are there to the Canada
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there's a few parts so the first part is
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the shoulder shoulder you have the upper
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boom right the elbow it really is an arm
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it really is an arm lower boom yeah the
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wrist joint yeah and the end effector so
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which end is this this is the end
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effector okay so the end effector
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essentially the hand yes so on the face
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of it you'll see a wire snare device
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that's what it uses to grip so it lines
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up with a special grapple fixture and
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connects right and then grabs on so we
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can do soft docking it can hold things
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stationary it's actually quite dexterous
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for for what it looks like cuz it
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doesn't look like there's a neat doesn't
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at all but that's the that's the design
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of the grapple feature and when the
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space shuttle Columbia blew up the role
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of the cannon arm changed it's true
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Columbia had some shuttle tile damage
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and upon reentry that caused an
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explosion and disintegration of the
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shuttle and the loss of the entire crew
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right this was a great tragedy obviously
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that NASA wanted to avoid in any future
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shuttle missions and basically either an
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inspection boom was built to go on the
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end of the canadarm2
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extend its reach okay there was a camera
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system put on the end of that inspection
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boom that was developed by a company of
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Canada called neptr yes a great company
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yeah so laser laser camera system or LCS
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and that basically took 3d scans surface
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scans so the art without long enough
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they could see yeah right under curl
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right underneath and scan the whole
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belly and any other hard-to-reach areas
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that that other cameras couldn't
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couldn't detect any damage and then what
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would they do with the scans they would
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send the information back to earth where
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3d prints were created the 3d prints
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were sent to NASA as well and the French
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were made in Ottawa yeah and Sun to
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Santa NASA and then NASA would examine
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the damage and decide whether or not a
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spacewalk was going to be required for
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to repair the tile or if the damage you
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know was it was deemed to be you know
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not significant enough to prevent
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re-entry or to cause you know cause any
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other disasters on reentry
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so other than the Canadarm what else is
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there to see here well we have lots of
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great staff at the Museum currently we
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have Chris Hadfield Sokol suit on
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display and we also have locals through
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the SoCo seat so it's the only worn
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space that's right to and from the space
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station aboard the Soyuz cool and we
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have the life and orbit exhibition if
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you're interested in learning more about
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the International Space Station Aaron
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Gregory from the Canada aviation and
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Space Museum thank you for the tour
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thank you for coming

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