Tuesday, July 19, 2011

MDA Issues, CSA Advocacy, Telesat Unsold and Growing Media Curiosity

Here's a short list of interesting items and news reports currently being tracked in the Commercial Space blog:
Dextre. A potential new role.
  • Speaking of on-orbit satellite servicing, the CSA seems to favor the NASA tests, at least according to the July 16th, 2011 Post News article "'Robotic handyman' to learn new tricks" which quotes Mathieu Caron, the supervisor of the CSA mission control team as stating "we're pushing Dextre a little harder." According to the article, the remotely controlled, Canadian built, Dextre robot (also known as the Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator or SPDM) will learn to refuel satellites in flight and lay the groundwork to "save them from drifting off as space junk or burning up in Earth's atmosphere." Since MDA technology is part of the NASA tests (MDA manufactures and maintains DEXTRE), it's hard to see the downside to independent validation of this capability so perhaps the CSA advocacy is well placed.
Telesat corporate HQ. Still in Ottawa.
Steve MacLean offering suggestions.
For those interested in some rousing imagery, below is a CSA produced tribute to the space shuttle program. Now that the last shuttle mission is almost complete, the next great space race can finally begin.

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