Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?
Take advantage of Black Friday with 15% off sitewide with coupon code "BLACKFRIDAY" on Slashdot Deals (some exclusions apply)". ×

NASA's Zero-Gravity Robotic-Arm Partnership With Canada 41

AndreV writes "We've entered into an extraterrestrial quid pro quo with our Northern neighbors: After celebrating 25 years of the Canadarm's first venture into space, NASA has reached out (so to speak) to the Canadian Space Agency and begun research and development on a new generation of robotic arms, which would ultimately be used for the US agency's Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle that will provide transportation for Moon missions and jaunts to the international space station. In exchange, Canada will trade the robotic-limb technology's use on Orion and other future US-manned spacecraft for flight time for Canadian astronauts. And seeing solid results shouldn't be far off — the engineering company designing the bionic branch, responsible for the previous Canadarms, has already begun investigating the effects of zero gravity on their components. (Another forward-looking project being bartered for astronaut time is a rover for the Moon and Mars.) Fair trade?"

Russia's Mars Mission Raising Concerns 245

eldavojohn writes " has a blog on Russia's Phobos-Grunt project designed to explore the planet further. He voices concerns about part of this exploration that is dubbed LIFE (Living Interplanetary Flight Experiment) and backed by The Planetary Society that involves sending several samples of Earth's hardiest microbes to see if they can survive the round trip voyage.'s correspondent Leonard David did some legwork to ensure that The Outer Space Treaty of 1967 was being upheld as it prevents cross-contamination between planets and receives some interesting responses from experts on this mission. The Phobos-Grunt mission will also deploy a Chinese sub-satellite 'Firefly-1,' which will attempt to figure out how water on Mars disappeared. Unfortunately, The United States is not taking part in Phobos-Grunt."

Numeric stability is probably not all that important when you're guessing.