29 Jul '16, 3pm

Robot Arms, a Radar Antenna, and a Stick-On Docking System: Finally, My Jetpack Has Arrived

Robot Arms, a Radar Antenna, and a Stick-On Docking System: Finally, My Jetpack Has Arrived

Photo: Gamma-Keystone/Getty Images Boosters Away! This “modular EVA work platform,” developed by the Bendix Corp. in 1969, was intended to ferry astronauts on short hops in space. In 1965, Ed White became the first American to perform a spacewalk when he stepped out of the Gemini IV capsule and floated in space for about 20 minutes. He liked it so much, he said, that returning to the capsule was “the saddest moment of my life. ” White had been beaten to the first spacewalk ever by cosmonaut Alexei Leonov several months earlier. But the American had the advantage of having a way to maneuver himself in space, thanks to a compressed-air gun. More sophisticated personal space-propulsion systems were already in the works. The Bendix Corp. developed a mockup of this modular EVA work platform [PDF] in 1969. (It’s worth downloading that PDF just for the awesome da Vinci-esque half...

Full article: http://spectrum.ieee.org/aerospace/aviation/robot-arms-a-...

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