STS-123 Mission Updates: Part 1
A camera on the exterior of the International Space Station observes Canada's two-armed Dextre maintenance robot.
Credit: NASA TV.

Astronaut?s Complete Dextre Robot Brake Tests
16 March 2008 7:52 p.m. EDT


HOUSTON ? Astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) have completed testing the brakes on the multiple joints of the Canadian-built Dextre robot.

With the exception of one wrist pitch joint on Dextre?s left arm, the tests appeared to go well.

?We?re just jumping the gun having fun moving the arms,? ISS flight engineer Garrett Reisman told Mission Control. ?It was really neat for us to see [Dextre] come to life.?

Click here for an overview of today?s space activities.

NASA is broadcasting Endeavour's mission live on NASA TV. Click here for SPACE.com's NASA TV feed or follow the NASA TV link at the upper left of this page.

-- Tariq Malik


Astronauts Begin Brake Tests on Station?s New Robot
16 March 2008 5:53 p.m. EDT


HOUSTON ? Astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) are beginning work to test the brakes on the multiple joints of the Canadian-built Dextre robot after an overnight spacewalk that gave the 12-foot tall automaton its gangly, 11-foot-long arms.

ISS flight engineer Garrett Reisman and Endeavour shuttle astronaut Robert Behnken are at the robotics console inside the station?s Destiny lab, where they will conduct today?s brake checkouts. The astronauts are beginning with Dextre?s right arm ? Arm 1 ? and will then move to the left later today.

?Okay, Stevie Ray, get ready to bring Dextre to life,? Reisman told NASA astronaut Steve Robinson here in Mission Control.

Click here for an overview of today?s space activities.

NASA is broadcasting Endeavour's mission live on NASA TV. Click here for SPACE.com's NASA TV feed or follow the NASA TV link at the upper left of this page.

-- Tariq Malik


Astronauts Wake to Test Station?s Dextre Robot
16 March 2008 4:00 p.m. EDT


HOUSTON ? Astronauts aboard NASA?s shuttle Endeavour and the International Space Station (ISS) are awake and ready for a day of shakedown tests of the Canadian-built Dextre robot outside the orbiting laboratory.

Mission Control here at NASA?s Johnson Space Center roused the astronauts at 3:43 p.m. EDT (1943 GMT) with the song ?God of Wonders? by Caedmon?s Call, a tune chosen for Endeavour commander Dominic ?Dom? Gorie.

?That timing was just perfect,? Gorie said. ?Right before the music came on the sun was coming up and it hit the station and it was just beautiful. The glory is apparent this morning.?

Mission managers gave the shuttle crew?s seven astronauts a few extra minutes of sleep before today?s wakeup call to wait for a better communications signal.

?Everybody slept great,? said Gorie.

Gorie and his crew are in the midst of a 16-day mission to deliver the first module of Japan?s massive Kibo lab to the ISS along with the two-armed Canadian robot Dextre and a new member of the outpost?s crew. Spacewalkers outfitted Dextre with its mechanical hands and arms over two spacewalks and will wrap up its construction during a planned Monday excursion.

Today is Flight Day 7 of the Endeavour crew?s 16-day mission, a record-long shuttle flight to the ISS.

Click here for an overview of today?s space activities.

NASA is broadcasting Endeavour's mission live on NASA TV. Click here for SPACE.com's NASA TV feed or follow the NASA TV link at the upper left of this page.

-- Tariq Malik


Carbon Dioxide Glitch on Space Station Fixed
16 March 2008 1:25 p.m. EDT


A glitch in the software controlling carbon dioxide removal on the International Space Station was fixed, said station flight director Ginger Kerrick.

"Everything is looking great so far," she said during a NASA update.

Ground checks of the station's new robot, Dextre, were completed last night and went well.

NASA is broadcasting Endeavour's mission live on NASA TV. Click here for SPACE.com's NASA TV feed or follow the NASA TV link at the upper left of this page.

-- Clara Moskowitz


Dextre Robot Passes Initial Tests
16 March 2008 7:58 a.m. EDT


HOUSTON ? Initial tests of the Canadian-built Dextre robot now outside the International Space Station (ISS) show the machine is in good working order.

Spacewalkers outfitted the 1.7-ton robot with twin 11-foot (3.4-meter) during a seven-hour spacewalk that ended this morning.

"It's in a functional mode and looking great," said Dana Weigel, space station flight director, during an early morning briefing here at Johnson Space Center.

The preliminary tests, which checked basic data and power connections, were made from the ground while astronauts of space shuttle Endeavour and the space station went to sleep 212 miles (441 kilometers) above the Earth.

Click here for a wrap-up of tonight's marathon spacewalk.

NASA is broadcasting Endeavour's mission live on NASA TV. Click here for SPACE.com's NASA TV feed or follow the NASA TV link at the upper left of this page.

-- Dave Mosher


Mission's Second Spacewalk Ends, Gives Giant Robot Two Big Arms
16 March 2008 2:58 a.m. EDT


HOUSTON ? Two spacewalkers finished their 7 hour 8 minute excursion outside the International Space Station Sunday morning.

Their efforts left behind a nearly complete two-armed Dextre maintenance robot propped up in its high-tech shipping platform, known as the Spacelab Pallet or SLP.

STS-123 mission specialists Rick Linnehan and Mike Foreman conducted the on-orbit work, and are inside the Quest airlock now being filled with air.

"You guys were both great working with some big hurdles with trying to get Mr. Dextre out of his SLP home," said Bob Behnken, spacewalk choreographer, referring to stubborn bolts the spacewalkers tackled.

It is Foreman's first foray into the vacuum of space and Linnehan's fifth, giving the veteran spaceflyer 35 hours and 30 minutes of total spacewalking time.

Stay tuned to SPACE.com for a wrap-up of tonight's marathon spacewalk.

NASA is broadcasting Endeavour's mission live on NASA TV. Click here for SPACE.com's NASA TV feed or follow the NASA TV link at the upper left of this page.

-- Dave Mosher


Spacewalking Astronauts Climbing Inside Airlock
16 March 2008 2:42 a.m. EDT


HOUSTON ? Spacewalkers Rick Linnehan and Mike Foreman are now both climbing inside the International Space Station's (ISS) Quest airlock.

Once the hatch is sealed and pressurization of the chamber begins, the second of five spacewalks planned during space shuttle Endeavour's stay at the orbital laboratory will come to a close.

The spacewalking duo's on-orbit construction work left the giant Dextre maintenance robot with two arms and titled up out of its high-tech shipping pallet.

Click here for a preview of tonight's marathon spacewalk.

NASA is broadcasting Endeavour's mission live on NASA TV. Click here for SPACE.com's NASA TV feed or follow the NASA TV link at the upper left of this page.

-- Dave Mosher


Robot Built! Astronauts Clean Up, Move Toward Airlock
16 March 2008 2:02 a.m. EDT


HOUSTON ? After nearly seven hours working outside the International Space Station, spacewalkers Rick Linnehan and Mike Foreman have finished building the arms of the giant Dextre robot and are moving toward the Quest airlock to wrap up their spacewalk.

Dextre now sits propped up in its high-tech shipping pallet, known as a Spacelab Pallet, with its two 11-foot (3.4-meter) arms outstretched into a 'V'.

Click here for a preview of tonight's marathon spacewalk.

NASA is broadcasting Endeavour's mission live on NASA TV. Click here for SPACE.com's NASA TV feed or follow the NASA TV link at the upper left of this page.

-- Dave Mosher


Giant Robot's Arms Attached, Being Hooked Up
16 March 2008 1:20 a.m. EDT


HOUSTON ? Spacewalkers Rick Linnehan and Mike Foreman finished bolting on the twin arms of a giant maintenance robot named Dextre, which is currently propped up inside in its high-tech shipping pallet outside the International Space Station.

The spacewalking duo is now hooking up power and data cables to the 1.7-ton automaton that is expected to reduce the number of dangerous spacewalks astronauts need to perform.

Click here for a preview of tonight's marathon spacewalk.

NASA is broadcasting Endeavour's mission live on NASA TV. Click here for SPACE.com's NASA TV feed or follow the NASA TV link at the upper left of this page.

-- Dave Mosher


Space Robot's First Arm Attached, Second in Position
16 March 2008 1:03 a.m. EDT


HOUSTON ? Two spacewalking astronauts have bolted on the first giant arm of a maintenance robot named Dextre, and lead spacewalker Rick Linnehan is now hoisting the second limb into place.

"We now have a one-armed monster," spacewalk choreographer Bob Behnken said from the flight deck of space shuttle Endeavour.

Working from the end of the International Space Station's (ISS) Canadarm2, Linnehan has carried the second 775-pound (352-kilogram) arm to Dextre's torso and astronaut Mike Foreman is bolting it on.

Because the spacewalk might run longer than the planned seven hours, mission controllers here at Johnson Space Center said the astronauts may need to recharge their oxygen supply in the Quest airlock.

Click here for a preview of tonight's marathon spacewalk.

NASA is broadcasting Endeavour's mission live on NASA TV. Click here for SPACE.com's NASA TV feed or follow the NASA TV link at the upper left of this page.

-- Dave Mosher


Astronauts Attaching Giant Robot's First Arm
16 March 2008 12:39 a.m. EDT


HOUSTON ? After lifting up the giant Dextre robot's torso, spacewalkers Rick Linnehan and Mike Foreman are attaching the first of two arms to the 3,440-pound (1,560-kilogram) automaton.

"Wow, that's beautiful," Foreman said of the view of planet Earth beneath him.

Once the spacewalking duo latches on the first of two seven-jointed arms, each weighing 775 pounds (352 kilograms), they will bolt in the second limb.

Click here for a preview of tonight's marathon spacewalk.

NASA is broadcasting Endeavour's mission live on NASA TV. Click here for SPACE.com's NASA TV feed or follow the NASA TV link at the upper left of this page.

-- Dave Mosher


It's Alive! Giant Robot Rises Out of Shipping Pallet
16 March 2008 12:19 a.m. EDT


HOUSTON ? Working in the darkness of orbital night, spacewalker Rick Linnehan pulled up the massive torso of a maintenance robot named Dextre outside of the International Space Station (ISS).

Linnehan, attached to the end of the station robotic arm, worked with fellow spacewalker Mike Foreman to unbolt and lift up the robot's torso.

The spacewalkers will now begin installing the machine's giant arms, which they struggled to release earlier in the spacewalk.

"Hey Dom, how's the view from the flight deck?" Linnehan asked shuttle Endeavour commander Dominic Gorie.

"It is unbelievable, you guys are making us all proud," Gorie said of the spacewalking duo's on-orbit construction work.

Click here for a preview of tonight's marathon spacewalk.

NASA is broadcasting Endeavour's mission live on NASA TV. Click here for SPACE.com's NASA TV feed or follow the NASA TV link at the upper left of this page.

-- Dave Mosher


Spacewalkers Discuss Possible Glove Damage, Hand Off Second Arm
15 March 2008 11:57 p.m. EDT


HOUSTON ? After freeing the second arm of the Dextre robot from a high-tech shipping pallet, spacewalker Mike Foreman reported possible damage to one of his gloves.

"Could we get the additional words about, I'm suspecting, whether or not that RTV or peel-back is greater quarter of an inch to the ground?" spacewalk choreographer Bob Behnken asked Foreman from inside the International Space Station, referring to a type of RTV silicon in his glove.

Foreman responded that the apparent damage was not significant enough to end the spacewalk.

Meanwhile, lead spacewalker Rick Linnehan handed off the second arm to Foreman, who is attaching it to the pallet containing Dextre's many pieces.

The spacewalk is running about one hour behind because of stubborn bolts on the pallet that the astronauts had to pry off.

Click here for a preview of tonight's marathon spacewalk.

NASA is broadcasting Endeavour's mission live on NASA TV. Click here for SPACE.com's NASA TV feed or follow the NASA TV link at the upper left of this page.

-- Dave Mosher


More Stubborn Bolts Plague Space Robot's Construction
15 March 2008 11:43 p.m. EDT


HOUSTON ? Orbital construction workers encountered more stuck bolts as they try to remove the second of two arms for a giant robot named Dextre.

"I think we're in the same situation as before," said lead spacewalker Rick Linnehan.

The astronaut previously worked to free two stubborn expansion diameter fasteners, as the bolts are called, from the first of Dextre's arms with fellow spacewalker Mike Foreman.

If the two spacewalkers can free remaining bolts holding the arm onto a high-tech pallet, which contains Dextre's many pieces, they'll move it to a temporary storage position on the side of the U-shaped platform.

Click here for a preview of tonight's marathon spacewalk.

NASA is broadcasting Endeavour's mission live on NASA TV. Click here for SPACE.com's NASA TV feed or follow the NASA TV link at the upper left of this page.

-- Dave Mosher


Spacewalkers Work to Free Robot's Second Arm
15 March 2008 11:17 p.m. EDT


HOUSTON ? Astronauts Rick Linnehan and Mike Foreman, both mission specialists of the STS-123 space shuttle Endeavour mission, are working to unfasten the second of two long arms for a giant robot named Dextre.

Linnehan and Foreman previously encountered stubborn bolts while freeing the first arm, which was stowed with the other pieces of 3,440-pound (1,560-kilogram) Dextre in a high-tech shipping pallet.

Foreman and Linnehan continue to release bolts and power-supplying umbilical cables to Dextre's torso.

Click here for a preview of tonight's marathon spacewalk.

NASA is broadcasting Endeavour's mission live on NASA TV. Click here for SPACE.com's NASA TV feed or follow the NASA TV link at the upper left of this page.

-- Dave Mosher


Spacewalkers Stow First of Two Giant Arms
15 March 2008 10:53 p.m. EDT


HOUSTON ? Despite stubborn bolts slowing them down, two spacewalkers successfully pulled one of two arms for a giant robot named Dextre out of its high-tech shipping pallet.

The arm is temporarily attached to the platform, called the Spacelab Pallet, and spacewalkers Rick Linnehan and Mike Foreman are working to unbolt Dextre's torso.

Once the second of two arms is stowed as the first, the astronauts will push up Dextre's body about 60 degrees so that they have clearance to latch the limbs onto the giant robot's shoulders.

Mike Scoville, Lead spacewalk officer here at Johnson Space Center, said the spacewalking duo is about 45 minutes behind in their on-orbit construction work.

Click here for a preview of tonight's marathon spacewalk.

NASA is broadcasting Endeavour's mission live on NASA TV. Click here for SPACE.com's NASA TV feed or follow the NASA TV link at the upper left of this page.

-- Dave Mosher


Stubborn Bolts Slow Down Spacewalk
15 March 2008 10:32 p.m. EDT


HOUSTON ? Two spacewalkers are nearly an hour behind in their planned seven-hour spacewalk because of two stubborn bolts, called expansion diameter fasteners, that secured the first of two arms for the Dextre robot.

"I'm sure it will go in easier than it came out," said lead spacewalker Rick Linnehan of the now-free 11-foot (3.4-meter) arm.

Linnehan has grabbed the 775-pound (352-kilogram) arm from the end of the space station's robotic arm, which astronaut Garrett Reisman is controlling, and is slowly spinning it 180 degrees. He'll temporarily attach it to the high-tech pallet containing Dextre's pieces later on.

The astronauts are moving the arms to make clearance for Dextre's main body to rise up out of the pallet, at which point Linnehan and fellow spacewalker Mike Foreman will have clearance to attach each of the arms.

Click here for a preview of tonight's marathon spacewalk.

NASA is broadcasting Endeavour's mission live on NASA TV. Click here for SPACE.com's NASA TV feed or follow the NASA TV link at the upper left of this page.

-- Dave Mosher


Astronauts Pop Out Stuck Bolt, Encounter Second
15 March 2008 10:12 p.m. EDT


HOUSTON ? Grunting as he worked at popping out a stuck bolt with a pry bar, spacewalker Rick Linnehan successfully released a stubborn fastener securing the first of two arms of the giant Dextre robot.

Before Linnehan pried it loose, fellow spacewalker Mike Foreman suggested that the spacewalking duo use an alternative tool.

"I'll have to get the ? jackhammer," Foreman said.

"Do we have one of those?" responded Linnehan. "We're really having to get medieval on Mr. Dextre."

Foreman is now wrestling with his own stuck bolt. If it comes loose, Linnehan will eventually grab onto the massive seven-jointed arm and move it to a temporary storage spot on the high-tech pallet holding the pieces of Dextre.

Click here for a preview of tonight's marathon spacewalk.

NASA is broadcasting Endeavour's mission live on NASA TV. Click here for SPACE.com's NASA TV feed or follow the NASA TV link at the upper left of this page.

-- Dave Mosher


Spacewalkers Encounter Stuck Bolt on Robot Arm
15 March 2008 9:45 p.m. EDT


HOUSTON ? Working outside of the International Space Station (ISS), two spacewalkers are nearly finished unbolting the first of the Dextre robot's two 11-foot (3.4-meter) arms.

However, one of the bolts securing the 775-pound (352-kilogram) limb is giving lead spacewalker Rick Linnehan some trouble from the end of the station's Canadarm2.

Fellow spacewalker Mike Foreman has been instructed by mission controllers here at Johnson Space Center to use a pry bar to get the bolt loose.

Once loose, Linnehan will eventually grab onto the massive seven-jointed arm and move it to a temporary storage spot on the high-tech pallet holding the pieces of Dextre.

Click here for a preview of tonight's marathon spacewalk.

NASA is broadcasting Endeavour's mission live on NASA TV. Click here for SPACE.com's NASA TV feed or follow the NASA TV link at the upper left of this page.

-- Dave Mosher


Astronauts Prepare Their Robotic Ride to Build Dextre
15 March 2008 9:24 p.m. EDT


HOUSTON ? STS-123 mission specialist and spacewalker Rick Linnehan has grabbed onto the International Space Station's (ISS) 58-foot (18-meter) Canadarm2, and is now installing a foot restraint.

Linnehan will soon step into the foot restraint, the position form which he'll grab onto the 775-pound (352-kilogram) arms of the Dextre robot that still in pieces in a high-tech shipping pallet.

Fellow spacewalker Mike Foreman is assisting Linnehan, and ISS flight engineer Garrett Reisman is controlling the Canadarm2 from inside the Destiny laboratory.

Click here for a preview of tonight's marathon spacewalk.

NASA is broadcasting Endeavour's mission live on NASA TV. Click here for SPACE.com's NASA TV feed or follow the NASA TV link at the upper left of this page.

-- Dave Mosher


Spacewalkers Installing Foot Restraint, Begin Unbolting Robot Arms
15 March 2008 8:49 p.m. EDT


HOUSTON ? Working in vacuum outside of the International Space Station (ISS), spacewalkers Rick Linnehan and Mike Foreman are readying to install a foot restraint on the end of the station's robotic Canadarm2.

The duo are also working to unlatch restraints on the two arms of Dextre, a 1.7-ton maintenance robot still secured in a high-tech shipping pallet.

Linnehan's bulky white spacesuit is marked by red stripes.

Click here for a preview of tonight's marathon spacewalk.

NASA is broadcasting Endeavour's mission live on NASA TV. Click here for SPACE.com's NASA TV feed or follow the NASA TV link at the upper left of this page.

-- Dave Mosher


Astronauts Reach Pallet Full of Robot's Pieces
15 March 2008 8:22 p.m. EDT


HOUSTON ? Spacewalkers Rick Linnehan and Mike Foreman have now crawled their way toward the Spacelab Pallet, where the arms, torso and other pieces of a giant space-age robot named Dextre are secured.

Stopping along the way to their worksite to routinely check their gloves for damage, the spacewalking duo took note of the sun from their vantage more than 212 miles (441 kilometers) above the Earth.

"That sun's bright," Foreman said.

"Yeah it's like a laser beam," Linnehan responded.

Click here for a preview of tonight's marathon spacewalk.

NASA is broadcasting Endeavour's mission live on NASA TV. Click here for SPACE.com's NASA TV feed or follow the NASA TV link at the upper left of this page.

-- Dave Mosher


Spacewalkers Leave Airlock, Crawl to Robot's Pallet
15 March 2008 8:10 p.m. EDT


HOUSTON ? Spacewalkers Rick Linnehan and Mike Foreman have exited the Quest airlock of the International Space Station (ISS) and are inching their way to their worksite.

When they reach the high-tech Spacelab Pallet, the temporary home the giant Dextre robot's p