Saturday, May 1, 2004

Robot may save day for Hubble: "With astronauts banned from Hubble because of space shuttle safety concerns, the University of Maryland's Ranger robot could conceivably save the day by installing fresh batteries and other life-sustaining parts on the observatory.

"Or if not Ranger, then Robonaut, NASA's very own humanoid robot, or the Canadian Space Agency's Dextre, a two-armed robot intended for the international space station, or any number of other robots under development that could blast off aboard an unmanned rocket in three or four years.

"While astronomers and astronauts may wince and scoff at the prospect of a machine working on their beloved Hubble, the robot crowd can barely hide its glee over NASA's search for a mechanical deliverer.

"First stop: Hubble. Next stop: moon, Mars and beyond."

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