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Space Robot Fixes Itself, Takes Selfie As Funny Livetweet Happens On The Ground

In a thrilling demonstration of space robotics, today the Dextre “hand” replaced a malfunctioning camera on the station’s Canadarm2 robotic arm. And the Canadian Space Agency gleefully tweeted every step of the way, throwing in jokes to describe what was happening above our heads on the International Space Station.

“Dextre’s job is to reduce the risk to astronauts by relieving them of routine chores, freeing their time for science,” the Canadian Space Agency tweeted today (May 27) .

“Spacewalks are thrilling, inspiring, but can potentially be dangerous. They also take a lot of resources and time. So Dextre is riding the end of Canadarm2 today instead of an astronaut. And our inner child is still yelling out ‘Weeeee…!’ ”

 Dextre, the Canadian Space Agency's robotic handyman aboard the International Space Station. Credit: CSA/NASA

Dextre, the Canadian Space Agency’s robotic handyman aboard the International Space Station. Credit: CSA/NASA

The complex maneuvers actually took a few days to accomplish, as the robot removed the broken camera last week and stowed it. Today’s work (performed by ground controllers) was focused on putting in the new camera and starting to test it. You can see some of the most memorable tweets of the day below.

The cookie you see in the first tweet is part of a tradition in Canada’s robotic mission control near Montreal, Que., where controllers have this snack on the day when they are doing robotic work in space.

Incidentally, the Canadian Space Agency bet NASA a box of maple cream cookies in February during a gold-medal Olympic hockey game between the two countries, which Canada won.

About 

Elizabeth Howell is the senior writer at Universe Today. She also works for Space.com, Space Exploration Network, the NASA Lunar Science Institute, NASA Astrobiology Magazine and LiveScience, among others. Career highlights include watching three shuttle launches, and going on a two-week simulated Mars expedition in rural Utah. You can follow her on Twitter @howellspace or contact her at her website.

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