‘Sticky boom’ – a sticky solution for grabbing objects in space

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ein_J_EuAb8&hd=1[/youtube]

For one spacecraft to grab onto another spacecraft in space is a very challenging task. Although the robotic arms on the space shuttles and International Space Station (ISS) have made it look easy over the years, the process requires complex manipulator arms and special fixtures on the objects the arms are grasping, limiting the technology’s use. A small startup company is testing a new approach, though, that could greatly expand the applications of robotic arm technology to include, for example, cleaning up orbital debris and servicing the ISS.

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