PHILIPPE PLAILLY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PHILIPPE PLAILLY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
European robotic arm simulation. Engineer taking part in a simulation to test the European Robotic Arm (ERA), which will be used on the International Space Station (ISS). The engineer is sitting in a room intended to simulate conditions for the arm's controller inside the ISS. Through the porthole is a water tank where astronauts are working with the robotic arm as if they were in space outside the ISS. The ERA, which will be attached to the Zvezda module, is 11.5 metres long, and it will be able to move loads of up to 8 tonnes, including cargo and astronauts. It can be controlled manually from inside and outside the ISS. The ERA was built in 2005 and is currently being tested. It is scheduled for launch in 2009.
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