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NKC Buzz Lightyear-Mission Phase 4

A group of young, animated characters against a colorful background with the words NASA Kids' Club

Mission Phase 4

Engage thrusters, cadets! The mission clock is ticking with five days remaining before Discovery returns to Earth. One of the most helpful pieces of mission equipment was designed by our friends in Canada, the Remote Manipulator System, or RMS as we call it. The RMS is used to grab and deploy satellites and to build things in space. It can grab a payload that's sitting in the payload bay, or even grab a satellite and bring it aboard the orbiter for inspection or repair.

Another important part of the orbiter's equipment is the OBSS, the Orbiter Boom Sensor System. It looks a lot like the RMS but doesn’t have the intricate moving joints of the RMS. However, the OBSS has the vital job of inspecting the orbiter tiles and panels.

An essential part of the space station is the three-part robotic system (also designed by our friends and honorary space rangers in Canada) that consists of a moving "train," a long arm, and a robot hand. The hand is known as Dextre and is capable of assembly tasks, transporting objects, and equipment installation and removal. Sensors aboard Dextre allow it to function and adapt to changes that take place while performing tasks. While astronauts count spacewalks as some of the most memorable moments of their mission, the use of highly developed and technically advanced robotics is capable of doing much of the external work, leaving the astronaut inside the station to remotely operate the equipment.

Take charge, cadet rookie, as you attempt to dock Kibo to the space station by taking the Robotic Arm Challenge!


Connect It! Game

The International Space Station (ISS) is the most complex scientific and technological project ever undertaken. Construction on the station began in November of 1998 and by the time of completion in 2015 more than 80 flights by the United States and Russia will have taken place.

The assembly of the ISS is no small task. Years of strategic planning, international cooperation and coordination was necessary to begin work and continues even today.

How good are you at planning to accomplish your work at home and at school? Test your planning and sequencing skills by playing the game below!

1. Identify one location near you and a second one a small distance away. You can select locations inside or outside.
2. Decide the best way to get from the first location to the second location.
3. Write down the number of steps and turns you think you'll take to get to the second location.
4. Follow your own directions and see if you estimated the correct numbers of steps and turns to reach the second location.
5. Analyze the route and determine if you need to make any changes to your route and directions.
6. Make any corrections and walk it again to be sure.
7. Ask a friend to play along with you.
8. Direct your friend to stand near you.
9. Tell your friend that he/she will need to follow your directions to reach another location. ( Don't tell them where they are going!)
10. Read your directions step by step to your friend.
11. Be careful!
12. Was your friend able to reach the second location by following your directions?
13. Why or why not?
14. Play again and have your friend write directions for you.

Page Last Updated: September 30th, 2013
Page Editor: NASA Administrator